India-funded post-quake housing reconstruction project starts

Gorkha, 13 April : The post-quake housing reconstruction project funded by the Indian government has begun after more than one year of agreement. 

The three-year project worth $100 million was signed in August 2017 between Nepal and India, under which India is to provide monetary support to reconstruct 50,000 private houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts. 

As per the agreement that calls for the appointment of consultants to provide socio-technical facilitations for the project, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu appointed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). 

The agreements were signed between Ajay Kumar, deputy chief of mission of Embassy of India, Kathmandu, on behalf of the Indian government; and Renaud Meyer, country director of the UNDP, Nepal; and Sanjay Mathur, regional director of the UNOPS Asia Region. 

Under the agreements, India is to provide the total $16.2 million to the two UN agencies ($8.79 million to the UNDP, Nepal, and $7.41 million to the UNOPS). 

The UNDP is to provide facilitation to 26,912 house owners in Gorkha, while the UNOPS will cover 23,088 houses in Nuwakot. 

Bijay Sah, UNDP’s Nepal assistant country director, said quake resilient homes would be built in collaboration with local governments as part of the project. 

Sophia Kimkhadej, deputy country director of UNDP, Nepal, said mason training would be provided to the house owners. 

Failure to implement the project in time has affected the quake-hit victims in Gorkha. 

“Many quake victims are left with no options than to live in makeshift tents. Some have started building their homes on their own, weary of apathetic responses from the concerned authorities for their rehabilitation,” said Ashok Kumar Gurung, coordinator of Gorkha district coordination committee. 

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