NRA Steering Committee meet Govt to help rebuild traditional settlements
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Sept. 15: Aiming at restoring the original look and shape of the historical and traditional settlements destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, the government has decided to provide support in rebuilding the infrastructure in those areas.
A meeting of the Steering Committee of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) on Friday took a decision to this effect and said that the government would invest in the development of infrastructure, such as roads, water supply and sewerage, in the traditional towns of the Kathmandu Valley and other districts severely hit by the earthquake.
The investment would be made through the NRA.
Traditional and historical settlements, such as Khokana, Bungmati, Sankhu and Kilagal in the Kathmandu Valley, palace areas in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, and Bhimsen Bazaar in Dolakha will be reconstructed in a way to give them the original heritage look.
“An additional Rs. 50,000 will be provided to the house owners in those towns to support them in maintaining the original or archaeological style of their private homes,” the meeting decided.
Last year, Bidur Municipality in Nuwakot district, where the historic Nuwakot Palace is located, had decided to give the town surrounding the palace a heritage look.
Similarly, Dolakha Bazaar is trying to list the entire town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and had asked the Department of Archaeology (DoA) a couple of years ago to support it in the effort.
According to the decision of the Steering Committee, the houses that are at risk of collapsing while rebuilding the adjacent houses damaged in the quake, will also be included in the beneficiaries’ list, and a housing grant will be provided.
The families who lost their houses in the earthquake will get a housing grant of Rs. 300,000, which will be provided in three tranches of Rs. 50,000, Rs. 150,000 and Rs. 100,000.
Likewise, if more than two house owners decide to develop a house through joint-ownership, all the house owners will be entitled for their share of the housing grant.
Similarly, the reconstruction body has included 2,345 families, which have registered complaints that they should be eligible for the housing grant, in the beneficiaries’ list.
Those households were selected from 13,379 families that registered the complaints.
“It has decided to include 9,837 families in retrofitting beneficiaries’ list and 859 families have been considered as prospective beneficiaries,” said Sushil Gyawali, Chief Executive Officer of the NRA.
The retrofitting beneficiaries are entitled to a grant of Rs. 100,000, which is provided in two instalments.
About 7,884 complainants have been decided as non-beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Kasthamandap Reconstruction Steering Committee on Friday decided to complete the first storey of the historical structure by the end of the current fiscal year 2018/19.
It has decided to immediately develop a work plan for the Kasthamandap’s reconstruction and implement it.
Kasthamandap is an eighth century heritage, from which the capital city and the district have derived their names.
Committee coordinator and lawmaker of Province 3 Rajesh Shakya said that a wood workshop had been established to create wooden arts for the building, and another large workshop would be run immediately after the Indra Jatra festival.
NRA CEO Sushil Gyawali suggested the construction materials used in the Kasthamandap’s rebuilding undergo a lab test.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) will provide the necessary budget for the reconstruction, and the DoA will extend technical support.
Kasthamandap’s reconstruction was delayed due to ownership tensions among the KMC, local people and the NRA.