DAO Jajarkot asks local levels to release 2nd tranche of fund to earthquake victims

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By Our Correspondent,Jajarkot, May 30: Seven months after the earthquake in Jajarkot, the earthquake victims have not yet received the second instalment of funds for the construction of temporary housing. 

After complaints from villages and municipalities about not receiving the second tranche of funds, the District Administration Office has issued a directive to all seven local governments of the districts, urging them to quickly release and distribute the funds by entering the documents into the disaster portal and requesting the second instalment for earthquake victims. 

The general people, left homeless by the earthquake, are struggling for survival. Now, seven months later, they are finding it difficult to repay loans taken for necessities and temporary shelters without the second instalment for temporary housing.

According to Om Prakash Rathore of Bheri Municipality-3, the earthquake victims have not received their second tranche because the local governments have not sent their details. The guidelines for temporary housing in 2023 require that cracked houses be demolished, causing issues for the villages and municipalities in disbursing the second instalment of the funds. 

As houses are uninhabitable due to the earthquake, people are using them to keep livestock and goods, said locals. 

Parbati Pariyar from Nalgadh Municipality-1 said that during the summer season, it becomes unbearable to stay in the temporary shelters made of corrugated zinc or tin sheets, forcing them to seek shelter under trees. 

The temporary shelters are inadequate to store grains and keep livestock, and with the monsoon approaching, demolishing houses raises concerns about where to store the belongings. Demolishing a house is estimated to cost between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000. As long as houses are not demolished, local wards are reluctant to issue recommendations, fearing repercussions, leading to public distress.

Dhan Maya Rana of Bheri Municipality-1 said that people who have built temporary shelters were in a dire situation without government-provided funds.

As local governments have been unable to secure the funds in their accounts, the second instalment sent by the government for temporary housing remains stuck in the District Disaster Management Office account. 

People have complained that some local governments have been charging fees (commissions) for providing recommendations to earthquake victims, prompting the district administration to instruct that no fees be charged under any pretext. 

Harish Chandra Sharma, information officer for the District Administration Office, said that after complaints that Barekot Rural Municipality was collecting Rs. 5,000 per recommendation for the second instalment, the District Administration Office has ordered an immediate stop of such collections. Some wards in Barekot Rural Municipality and Nalgadh Municipality started collecting Rs. 1,000 from earthquake victims, but the Administration ordered the return of those amounts. After the Administration's directive, the victims received their money back.

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