Resolving reconstruction dilemmas: NRA's toll-free helpline

Chitra Bahadur Damai from Sindhupalchowk. Photo: CDRMP

With help from the National Reconstruction Authority’s toll-free inquiry service, Chitra Bahadur Damai was able to sort out issues with the release of his reconstruction grant and resume rebuilding

Office worker Chitra Bahadur Damai from Sindhupalchowk had called the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA)’s toll-free helpline soon after it was established in May this year to inquire about the tranches of the reconstruction grant. This is a frequently asked questions among the many that the service has fielded in the few months since it was set up—Chitra Bahadur in particular was worried about the delay in the release of the second tranche of the grant since he had a loan to pay back.

He had received the first tranche on time, and excited, had begun rebuilding his home almost immediately—even though the demands of his job made it difficult for him to manage to devote enough time to the process. Still, work proceeded up to the damp-proof course (DPC) level and the structure was verified by an engineer. But even after completing the required formalities to get the second tranche, much to Chitra Bahadur’s dismay, it was not released. He then decided to give the helpline a shot.

Upon learning of his problem, the helpline operators directed him to a designated NRA engineer. Once they were connected, the engineer was able to help him figure out that one of the documents Chitra Bahadur needed to submit—a letter of agreement—was missing. He quickly sent in the letter, and within a week, he had received the funds due to him.  He says that while the process was certainly complicated, the help received from the operators—and the fact that they followed up later on, calling him to check if he had indeed received the tranche—was very much appreciated.

The toll-free helpline was launched by the NRA on 31 May 2017, with support from UNDP's Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme (CDRMP), and funding from European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), to enable people around Nepal who were affected by the 2015 earthquake to reach out and connect directly to the government, and air their queries and grievances to do with the reconstruction process. The helpline is geared at providing timely, relevant and accurate information regarding safe building practices to house owners and clarifying any confusions to do with adapting the principles of resilient construction in resurrecting their fallen homes.

The toll-free number is 1660-01-72000 for NTC users and 9801-572-111 for Ncell users. 

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