Khadga Bahadur Rai of Ward No. 6 of Fikkal Rural Municipality in Sindhuli is a good example of how the government’s private housing grant should be utilized.
Khadga Bahadur Rai is an earthquake victim from Ward No. 6 of Fikkal Rural Municipality in Sindhuli. Unlike, hundreds of thousands of other quake victims, Rai, 51, is a differently-abled person who can neither speak nor listen.
However, the earthquakes do not discriminate and Khadga Bahadur is no exception. He too lost his house in the earthquake that struck central Nepal in April 2015.
Compared to others in the village, it was an enormous challenge for Khadga Bahadur to rebuild his house. But the government’s private housing grant has enabled him to overcome this challenge.
However, he was in a dilemma for some time, as he couldn’t find any trained masons to help him out even after receiving the first tranche of the grant. But, with the announcement of the deadline to receive the second tranche, he had no other options than to look out for help.
Som Maya Rai, Khadga Bahadur’s niece, who had been taking his care, came to his rescue. With Som Maya’s help, Khadga Bahadur completed constructing his house up to the plinth level by September 2017. After receiving the second tranche of Rs. 150,000, he resumed the construction in January 2018.
He receives the government grant from the branch of Century Bank in Khurkot, Sindhuli, which is an hour and a half walk from Tinkhande.
By February 2018, he had constructed a two-room house which required installation of roof. According to earthquake-resilient construction guidelines, the masons were installing the roof after raising a two-foot tall wall on top of the first story. The engineers deployed at the Gaunpalika level have already inspected and approved Khadga Bahadur’s house for third tranche. As per the provision, he will now receive Rs. 100,000 as the third and final instalment.
The facilitation received with the government’s housing grant and technical support has been instrumental in building an earthquake-resistant house for Khadga Bahadur. The rebuilding of his house is a good example of the process of reconstruction as guided by the government. From the beginning of the construction process, he has been receiving the technician’s advice and the engineers too visited occasionally to inspect the reconstruction, according to Som Maya.
The house is constructed with stone and mud mortar with concrete band. Som Maya says, “Engineers advised us and with their advice and trained masons, we feel that the house has been built strong.”
Som Maya estimates that additional cost of Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 150,000 will be spent to complete the house, besides the government’s housing grant of Rs. 300,000.
By Dipak Sapkota in Fikkal (Sindhuli)