Gorkha: The earthquake victims from four villages in Gorkha district have taken the reins of an integrated settlement project after its construction was stalled due to lack of funds and construction materials.
The earthquake-displaced families from Ritthepani, Dharampani, Nayagaun and Pandeygaun villages have step forward to complete the integrated settlement that is being constructed in around 200 ropanis of land at Lamachaur in Bhimsen Thapa Rural Municipality-5.
Though the settlement construction started in 2017, hardly 30 percent of the works have been completed so far.
Lok Bahadur Shrestha, a native of Ritthepani, said that he has been living under a temporary hut for the last four years.
“It’s difficult living under a hut and the construction of the new settlement is taking a long time. At this rate, I’m afraid, it will take 15 years more for the construction works to complete,” he said.
Som Prasad Pandey, chairman of the integrated settlement committee, said that they plan to complete the settlement within a year, with or without the government’s support.
“Since the majority of the earthquake-displaced families are unable to construct their homes with the housing reconstruction aid provided by the government, they are seeking help from various donor agencies,” he said.
Prem Chandra Shrestha, ward chairman of the Bhimsen Thapa Rural Municipality-5, said that the reconstruction works failed to gather momentum due to lack of budget and construction materials.
As the project need funds to move forward, he said the quake-displace families have started to seek donors’ support and take loans in order to see the project through.
“Besides funds, the project also lacks construction materials. We need more than 300,000 concrete blocks to complete the settlement. For this, we are planning to bring a machine from China to produce our own blocks,” Shrestha said.
According to the ward office, they have already built the roofs of 30 houses and have completed foundation works of 74 houses.
By Hariram Uprety in The Kathmandu Post - May 6 2019