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Engineers to distribute grant

Government has decided to authorise engineers to distribute housing aid in those districts which lack local bodies

Kathmandu, September 30, 2016: Beneficiaries can now receive the first tranche of housing reconstruction aid directly through engineers in places where local bodies are not present.

The government on Thursday authorised engineers, who have been deployed for reconstruction works in 14 districts most affected by last year’s earthquakes, to sign agreements with the affected households and distribute the aid to them.

The Infrastructure Policy Coordination Division under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has directed the district-level authorities in all the 14 districts to facilitate the mobilisation of the engineers in villages and wards without secretaries to expedite the process of distributing the first instalment to around 400,000 households–out of 800,000–who are still waiting to receive the rebuilding aid.

The quake-affected households are entitled to Rs 50,000 as the first tranche of the housing aid.

Out of an estimated 800,000 households damaged in 14 districts including Kathmandu Valley by earthquakes last year, registration of only 533,182 households has been completed so far, of which 401,710 households have received the first instalment as of Wednesday.

Out of total 533,182 households registered as “true beneficiaries”, the government has completed signing agreements with 455,494 households so far.

As per Thursday’s decision, the government has directed the local development officers and executive officers in 14 districts to authorise the engineers mobilised under the Urban Development and Building Construction Division to coordinate in helping the households in receiving the aid at the earliest. The engineers are also responsible for preparing project layout, supervise, prepare progress report and manage complaints from the affected households in villages and wards where village secretaries are absent, according to the decision. The respective DDCs and municipalities can also receive technical support from the engineers.

The government has mobilised around 2,400 engineers in the 14 most affected districts to oversee the reconstruction works and help the households in receiving the housing aid.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the Directive Committee’s meeting of the National Reconstruction Authority on Monday had directed the latter to distribute the first tranche of the private house rebuilding aid to the remaining over 130,000 families by October 6.