TNW: How reconstruction works were made possible in your municipality after the devastating earthquake of 2015?
Deepak: If the UNDP and Government of India did not provide financial and technical support, the rebuilding of thousands of houses would not have been possible in such a speedy manner in our municipality, which lies in Gorkha district. We have succeeded in constructing 8,000 plus houses in two years’ period. This shows that we are able to work for rebuilding our villages and towns if we get a little support and inspiration.
TNW: How many houses were damaged or destroyed in your municipality during the earthquake?
Deepak: Around 8,000 houses were damaged by the disaster. Most of them developed cracks as they were built with mud and bricks. At that time only two people died in our municipality. Only 10-12 houses were totally destroyed by the earthquake.
TNW: How much cost was involved in the reconstruction works ?
Deepak: The reconstruction works were carried out at the cost of approximately Rs. 5 lac per house. Around 4,500 houses were rebuilt in our municipality and remaining 3,500 houses were newly constructed.
TNW: What type of technology was used?
Deepak: Some of the houses were retrofitted while others were rebuilt with concrete and cement. We got support for building earthquake resilient houses.
TNW: Did you use local technology in rebuilding houses?
Deepak: Around 100 houses which were built with the indigenous technology were retrofitted.
TNW: Have you also provided training to the local people for constructing houses?
Deepak: Yes, we have provided masonry training to some 300 local people including women. Now the local people have learned the skill to build their houses.
TNW: How much money were distributed to the local people for rebuilding the house?
Deepak: Each houseshold received Rs. 3 lac from the donors through the government and the remaining 2 lac were contributed by the local people themselves.
TNW: How about rebuilding schools and hospitals?
Deepak: Government of India provides assistance to build two school buildings and the remaining school buildings and hospitals were rebuilt with the assistance from JAICA.
TNW: Will you highlight about the historical significance of Palungtar Municipality?
Deepak: Ligligkot, where kings were chosen through running competition lies in our municipality. We have four hundred year old history of choosing king through race. THis was in a way first democratically elected government in the world. To maintain the tradition, we organize Liglig race every year and chose a King for one day. One who wins the race will be crowned. We are now working to promote tourism in Ligligkot.