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Retrofitting will be useful for future, says experts

Kathmandu, February 21: The lessons learnt from retrofitting of houses that were partially damaged in the 2015 earthquake will be useful to strengthen private houses throughout Nepal, according to government officials and experts.

This was discussed at the workshop on “NRA’s best practices on private housing retrofitting experiences and way forward” organized today to highlight the retrofitting works carried out by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).

NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said that though the number of houses that have been retrofitted during the post-earthquake reconstruction, the study and research carried out during the process would be very useful to adopt in future to strengthen the private houses.

“The retrofitting will not only help us preserve the old style houses, but would also help us stop damages during the disasters,” he said, adding, “This will help us build resilient Nepal.”

Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) Anil Pokharel said that it could contribute in disaster risk reduction if we could identify vulnerable houses and retrofit them.

Director General of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction Nawaraj Pyakurel informed that retrofitting experiences will be included while implementing people’s safe housing project.

Former Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development Dipendranath Sharma stressed on the need to adopt retrofitting to save private houses as well as to maintain other public buildings.

Deputy Director of the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Building) Jhappar Singh Bishwakarma, Dipak Saud of Housing Recovery and Reconstruction Platform and Bipin Kumar Gautam of CLPIU (Building) presented working papers to highlight the NRA’s works on retrofitting. Those commenting on their papers were Executive Member of the NRA Dr. Hariram Parajuli, Professor Dr. Premnath Maskey, Dr. Gokarna Motra, Tim Hart, Jitendra Bothra and Amanda Duff.

Deputy Executive Director of the NSET Dr. Ramesh Guragain facilitated the discussion on the working papers.

Executive Member of the NRA Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha presented the objectives of the program and highlighted its expected results while another Executive Member of the NRA Dr. Bishnu Bahadur Bhandari said that retrofitting needs to be economically viable, culturally accepted and environmentally suitable.

The program was chaired by Shyam Kishor Singh, Project Director of the CLPIU (Building).

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