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Reconstruction of quake-damaged health facilities stalled due to ‘impractical provision’

Purna Prasad Mishra, LALITPUR: Locals of rural areas of Lalitpur district have been deprived of quality health services as reconstruction of health facilities damaged by the Gorkha earthquake has been stalled. The Gorkha earthquake had taken place on April 25, 2015.
Most of the damaged health institutions are located at rural areas of the district. Although the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) had announced to give priority in reconstruction of structures like schools and health posts, it is still uncertain that the damaged seven health facilities would be reconstructed or not even after five years since the disaster.
Project Chief of District Project Implementation Unit (Building), Chandrakaji Gurung, said that reconstruction task of the damaged health institutions has not been moved ahead as the health institutions lack landownership certificate.
However, reconstruction process of four health institutions at Thuladurlum, Bukhel, Ikudol and Asrang having landownership certificate has been moved ahead.
Godavari municipality’s mayor Gajendra Maharjan suggested amending the building standard determined by the Ministry of Health which states that the government office buildings should not be constructed on public land.
“We have already written to the National Reconstruction Authority and the District Administration Office that it would not be possible to construct the health post and Ayurvedic dispensary buildings if the standard was not amended,” he added.
Unit (Building) Lalitpur’s engineer Sabi Shrestha said the reconstruction of health posts has not become possible even in places where these structures are built on public land due to the Ministry of Health’s policy of constructing health facilities only on land for which the landownership papers have been provided in the name of health facilities.
In the case of the health facilities for which the reconstruction works have begun, this has been possible after securing the land-ownership certificates with the support of the local levels.
Project chief Gurung said the Central Projects Implementation Unit (Building) Babarmahal has been informed of the difficulty in rebuilding the health facilities that do not have land of their own.
According to him, many local levels had agreed to provide forested land for the construction of the health facilities but they had rejected it and urged the local levels to look for land other than the forest land.
NRA spokesperson Gopal Prasad Aryal said the Ministry of Health would be consulted for amending the standard it has set for construction of health posts. He added that preparations are being made to hold a meeting with the Ministry regarding reconstruction of the health facilities and all the issues would be discussed in that meeting. RSS

Published Date: Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 | 08:53 AM

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