Post-quake reconstruction to cost Rs 63.58 billion

KATHMANDU: The preliminary estimate for the reconstruction of structures damaged due to the three earthquakes that occurred at various times is Rs 63.58 billion.

The preliminary damage assessment conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) determined the damage worth approximately Rs 58 billion and the reconstruction is estimated to cost over Rs 63.5 billion.

Chief of NDRRMA, Policy, Planning and Monitoring Division, Bharat Mani Pandey said the required process for the reconstruction has been moved ahead after carrying out the preliminary study.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck Jajarkot on November 3, 2023. One hundred and fifty-four people were killed and 366 others injured in this disaster. A temblor measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit Bajhang on October 3, 2023, killing one person and injuring 30. Before this, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale occurred in Doti on November 8, 2022, resulting in the death of six people and injuries to eight others.

These three earthquakes damaged 95,787 houses, as per the NDRRMA data. The damage to this many houses is estimated to be worth Rs 43.39 billion. Apart from this, 204 school buildings, 70 government and public buildings, 11 cultural heritages, nearly 200 kilometers of road and 121 irrigation projects were damaged due to the earthquakes.

The Jajarkot earthquake caused the largest extent of human and property damage. More than 86, 000 houses were damaged in this disaster alone.

The NDRRMA preliminary assessment estimated the total cost of Rs 63.58 billion for the reconstruction of different sectors- Rs 52.46 billion for the reconstruction of private houses, government buildings, and health, education and cultural buildings, Rs 7.18 billion for the reconstruction of other infrastructure sectors and Rs 1.73 billion for the enterprises sector.

Necessary process for the reconstruction is being forwarded on this basis. A decision was already taken to ask for consent of the Finance Ministry for necessary budget for this purpose after approving the concept of detailed damage assessment to carry out retrofitting, reconstruction and resettlement of quake-damaged private and public building and other physical infrastructures in Jajarkot, Bajhang and Doti.

NDRRMA Executive Chef Anil Pokharel shared that reconstruction activities would be forwarded as the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Executive Committee chaired by Home Minister had already approved the ‘Retrofitting, Reconstruction and Resettlement Grant Procedure for Private Houses of Disaster Affected, 2081’.

This time, the beneficiaries would be categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ and housing reconstruction activities would be forwarded.

Much responsibility has been given to the local levels in the procedure. The local-level would keep a preliminary record of the losses. The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee would identify the beneficiaries by reviewing the details received from local levels. Thereafter, an agreement would be reached between beneficiaries and ward chairperson.

A procedure has been prepared to complete reconstruction within two years after signing the agreement.

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