FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Cause for concern
Posted:Apr 25, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Two years has just passed since the major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale shook the country, killing over nine thousand people, injuring or maiming about three times that figure, destroying or damaging about eight lakh houses and buildings in 31 districts, both residential and public, including those of archaeological importance as well as those listed as World Heritage sites. Massive rescue and relief operations were launched for many weeks, involving domestic governmental agencies, including of course the security agencies, and non-government sector, and also involving the men and materials of foreign countries. Nepalese living abroad too contributed what they could towards relief. After the completion of rescue and relief efforts, it was said that a massive reconstruction project work would be initiated as soon as possible to repair or rebuild the damaged or destroyed public structures, and also provide substantial assistance to the quake victims to enable them to reconstruct their houses. An international donors’ conference was hurriedly organized in the capital to get commitments of aid, in both loans and grants, in helping the massive post-quake reconstruction. The commitments received were described by the government as ‘very encouraging’.
 
Assistance for the victims was also specified, and the law was made to create a high-powered National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to lead and conduct the five-year reconstruction project. Regulations were also made to govern the details. But months were wasted over which party should have a say in appointing CEO of the NRA. All that is history now. But two years down the line, what is the net result? The score is unsatisfactory. Such an evaluation has come even from those in responsible government positions, from the Prime Minister to the CEO of the NRA. The role of the NRA has been less than effective so far, as its CEO himself has admitted. The grim fact is that many victims have been forced to live under tents, through two winters and two rainy seasons. A few thousand victims have built their own houses, fed up with the indefinite wait for the promised government assistance to arrive. More than nine hundred billion rupees was estimated as the total outlay needed to complete the entire reconstruction project. Agreements with donors amounting to 311 billion rupees in aid had been signed. But only 34 billion rupees has so far been spent towards reconstruction.
 
The figures speak volumes. Regarding public structures, reconstruction had been initiated three months ago, but really it has hardly got off the ground so far. According to the NRA chief, Govinda Raj Pokhrel, the government has yet to collect two-thirds of the reconstruction budget. Other necessary things, such as complicated procedures, lack of human resources and construction materials, as well as provision of soft loans have also posed problems. But these could have been resolved if the authorities had focused on such an urgent mission. The present coalition government, when it came to power, had vowed to provide momentum to the disbursement of the promised assistance to quake victims and the entire reconstruction project. But what has happened so far gives cause for concern. What is required now is to learn from the mistakes and move ahead resolutely to finish the reconstruction work.
 
Information centre
 
The government is all set to store all information in the Information Storage Centre in the Department of Information to be managed by the Ministry of Information and Communications. All government information and archives will be centralized so that public can have an easy access whenever they need it. All government related information will be collected from post offices and centralized in the Information Storage Centre. Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki said such a move will guarantee the people’s right
to information.
 
If this system is timely updated and modernized, people will no longer have to search for other ministries’ websites to acquire information that they need. But the government’s public dissemination system has always been outdated which is not always useful for the public. The Information Centre will cease to prove its relevance when information sought by the people is not available on time. The ministry must tell the public what sort of information the government will upload in the Centre.
 
The Himalayan Times, April 26, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
It wasn’t so long ago that the whole world watched as Donald Trump sashayed on to the Riyadh red carpet and stole the show with his tough talk on Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
 
read-more
A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive