Quake-hit Nepal sets up new re­con­struc­tion au­thor­ity


Nearly four months af­ter a mas­sive quake dev­as­tated Nepal, the gov­ern­ment has set up a new state body to lead re­con­struc­tion ef­forts, a spokesman for the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice said Fri­day.

The gov­ern­ment says Nepal will need around US$6.7 bil­lion to pay for re­build­ing and wants all re­con­struc­tion funds to be chan­neled through the new body, rais­ing con­cerns that bu­reau­cracy and poor plan­ning will de­lay re­build­ing.

Po­lit­i­cal wran­gling de­layed the for­ma­tion of the new Na­tional Re­con­struc­tion Au­thor­ity (NRA) for sev­eral weeks, even af­ter in­ter­na­tional donors pledged US$4.4 bil­lion to re­build the Hi­malayan na­tion.

The gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day ap­pointed Govind Raj Pokharel, vice chair­per­son of the na­tional plan­ning com­mis­sion, to head the new body, said Ut­tar Ku­mar Kha­tri, spokesman for the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice.

“In the past we have ex­pe­ri­enced de­lays while work­ing on mega projects due to lack of au­thor­ity and le­gal hur­dles ... keep­ing that in view, gov­ern­ment has given full au­thor­ity to the NRA so it won’t face prob­lems on is­sues like land ac­qui­si­tion,” Kha­tri told AFP.

The new au­thor­ity, which will be mon­i­tored by Prime Min­is­ter Sushil Koirala, will have five years to com­plete its task and will have to present a public re­port on its progress ev­ery four months, Kha­tri said.

“Re­con­struc­tion is not only a na­tional is­sue now but it’s a mat­ter of our im­age in the global arena. We want to show the world that Nepal can be re­built within five years,” Kha­tri said.


A Nepalese woman wipes her son’s tears af­ter yelling at him for play­ing in dirt at a camp for the earth­quake af­fected in Chuchep­ati, Kathmandu, Nepal, Thurs­day, Aug. 13.

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