Tracking the flow: NRA’s helpline gives homeowners vital information on reconstruction grants
Nir Bahadur Basnet and his fellow Dolakha villagers were able to better understand the process of releasing reconstruction grants thanks to operators of the National Reconstruction Authority’s toll-free service
Nir Bahadur Basnet had been among over 30 earthquake-affected homeowners in his locality in Dolakha who had failed to receive the second installment of the reconstruction grant. Although he had followed due process in submitting the necessary documents, there was no news for him or the others regarding the release of the second tranche, while people from nearby villages had had no such issues.
Desperate, Nir Bahadur had taken the initiative to call the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA)’s toll-free helpline for reconstruction queries. Operators therein recommended that he contact the NRA engineer who had previously verified his house—completed upto the damp-proofing course (DPC) level—to follow up on the grant. As it turned out, after checking with the relevant authorities with the help of the engineer, the tranches were found to be awaiting approval and it was simply a matter of procedural delay owing to the sheer volume of work being dealt with in the concerned government offices. Had the homeowners received a notification of some form earlier, they would have not worried as they did.
When helpline operators contacted Nir Bahadur again sometime later, he happily reported that he and the other homeowners in his village had now been provided the second installment. He praised the NRA’s service for keeping people informed regarding the process of releasing reconstruction funds through the different offices involved, and in tracking the flow of the grant.
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.