Nepal PM vows to speed up earthquake reconstruction
April 25 2018 12:45 PM
Nepal
Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli delivers a speech to mark the third anniversary of the 2015 earthquake in front of the historic Dharahara tower that fell during that earthquake, in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

DPA/Kathmandu

Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on Wednesday vowed to rebuild speed up reconstruction efforts during an event to mark the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed 9,000 people.
Three years after the earthquake - which also damaged and destroyed over half million homes and buildings, of which less than a quarter have been rebuilt - Nepal's government has come under fire for the slow pace of reconstruction.
"When will we rebuild the structures damaged in the quake? When will we achieve prosperity?" Oli said at a gathering of several dozen people at Dharahara, a nine-storey watchtower in Kathmandu. 
"We must not delay [reconstruction] - we are running out of time," he said.
Oli, who was elected prime minister in February after historic elections, acknowledged that the government's reconstruction campaign had been sluggish and that private sector had not done a good job.
At Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UN World Heritage site where the quake left centuries-old temples and monuments in ruins, officials said less than half of heritage sites have been rebuilt so far.
On Tuesday, officials from the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) told reporters that it hadn't been able to meet its targets.
"There were bureaucratic hurdles, but we are working to speed up the work," said NRA official Arjun Karki.
More than 700 temples, monuments and traditional structures were damaged or destroyed in the quake, which wounded 22,000 people.
Of more than half a million buildings and homes awaiting reconstruction, only 119,182 have been completed so far, according to the agency.  



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