Kathmandu, August 13: The much-awaited â€˜National Reconstruction Authority, formed by the government to accomplish the post-earthquake reconstruction, has been given a final shape.
An ordinance regarding the formation of National Reconstruction Authority was endorsed on the third week of June to expedite the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure devastated by the April 25 earthquake.
The government on Thursday has given a complete shape to the Authority while there were criticisms from different quarters of life for not taking initiative in this connection even after three months have elapsed since the earthquake.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Thursday has appointed National Planning Commissionâ€™s Vice-chairperson Prof Dr Govinda Prasad Pokharel as the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority with four ministers as the members.
According to the cabinet decision, the Authority will have Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam, Finance Minsiter Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Minister for Urban Development Dr Narayan Khadka, and Minister for Civil Aviation and Culture Kripasur Sherpa as the members.
Dr Taranidhi Bhattarai has been appointed the expert member of the Authority.
The Authority is entrusted with the responsibility to reconstruct the earthquake-devastated physical structure in a sustainable and planned manner as well as immediately resettle the families members who were displaced in the quake.
The ordinance related to reconstruction was introduced to take the donor community to confidence in the â€˜International Conference on Nepalâ€™s Reconstructionâ€™ held in Kathmandu on June 25 to raise funds for the post-quake resilience.
The Authority headed by the Prime Minister will have four ministers designated by the Prime Minister, a Chief Executive Officer, Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission, Chief Secretary and an expert.
The high-powered Authority will mobilize around Rs 670 billion, the budget estimated by the ‘Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Report- 2015’ for the reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake known as the ‘Gorkha Earthquake’.
The tenure of the Authority shall have five years and the government can extend the term by a year as per the need.
To determine the earthquake-triggered losses, recommend the government to announce the affected zones, set the priorities of reconstruction and approve policy, programmes and budget for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts fall under the jurisdictions of the Authority.
Fourteen districts in the mid-hilly region were worst hit by the earthquake with massive losses of lives and property. Around 9,000 people had been killed while over 22,000 were injured in the April 25 earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks. A total of 80,922 government and private buildings were damaged by it.
The ordinance related to Authority has a provision that the government can, on the recommendation of the Authority, terminate ‘Chief Executive Officer’ from the post if the his/her performance was not satisfactory. But before this, the CEO will be given an opportunity for clarifications to this effect.
By Bhisma Raj Ojha/Hari Lamichhane