NRA told to set up branch offices in 14 worst-hit districts

At a time when the government has been struggling to hire sufficient staff at the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), Parliament’s State Affairs Committee has asked the NRA to set up its branch offices in each of the 14 most-affected quake-hit districts.

The committee has also directed the Ministry of General Administration to make arrangements for hiring adequate number of staff for the branch offices in the 14 districts.
After lawmakers from the quake-affected districts argued during the committee’s meeting on Sunday that the NRA’s existing seven regional offices were inadequate to oversee the overall tasks of reconstruction and rehabilitation in the 14 districts, the committee directed the NRA to set up its branch offices in each of the 14 districts.

The lawmakers were of the view that that the branch offices were necessary in each of the 14 quake-hit districts to effectively oversee and expedite reconstruction and rehabilitation works.

In January, the directive committee of the NRA had decided to set up seven regional offices of the authority with joint secretaries as their heads in Dolakha, Kavre, Nuwakot, Gorkha, Kathmandu and Lalitpur to oversee the task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in the 14 most-affected districts. The committee had called for setting up a regional office for the other remaining 17 least-affected districts.

But the Ministry of General Administration has not been able to provide sufficient staff even for the seven regional offices. As a result, the NRA has been forced to operate the offices with section officers as their head.

A field survey carried out by the National Human Rights Commission last week had found that a regional office in Nuwakot had only one officer though the NRA has rented a big building to run the office.

However, officials at the ministry have been saying that it has been facing difficulty in sending officials to regional offices as majority of civil servants are reluctant to work at the authority fearing long work hours.

Nita Pokharel Aryal, spokesperson of the ministry, said that the ministry will try to send officials to the NRA regional offices as soon as possible.

Source: MyRepublica