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Nepal to be rebuilt within three years: Consul general

Kolkata

21-May-2015

Nepal, which is coming out with a detailed report on the April 25 earthquake, has undertaken an ambitious plan to reconstruct and rehabilitate the Himalayan nation in the next years, its consul general here said on Thursday.

Participating in an MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised event, Consul General of Nepal in Kolkata, Chandra Kumar Ghimire said the Nepal government would convene a donors' meeting with the international community seeking funding of the rebuilding plan that would entail a budget of anything between $5-10 billion.

"The Nepal government has a plan to rebuild and restore the country in the next three years. It may sound ambitious, but (Nepal) Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has emphasised that we will rebuild the country in the next three years.

"The government will also convene a meeting with the international community and organisations where a complete picture of the rebuilding process will be announced. The government will brief about the modalities, the budget and all other aspects of the rebuilding process," Ghimire said.

"Obviously, we alone cannot fund the restoration process which according to initial estimates may require anything between $5 to 10 billion. That's where we need help," he said.

Ghimire said the Nepal government was in the process of preparing a detailed assessment report of the damage suffered in the quake.

"Expected to be released on June 10, it will be the first post-disaster assessment report providing details of the destruction.

"According to estimates so far, we have suffered destruction equalling around 35 percent of our GDP. Besides losing over 8,600 lives, more than 21,800 people have been handicapped, and in excess of a lakh of people injured.

"In fact, one-third of our population or over 80 lakh people have been affected by the quake," said Ghimire.

With nearly 90 percent of its heritage sites and building destroyed in the quake, the Nepal government was in talks with foreign countries for their reconstruction and restoration, he said.

"Heritage buildings have been kept out of the rebuilding plans now and their restoration process will take another seven-to-eight years."

"It is important, that the heritage building are restored in a scientific manner and for that we are in discussion with some foreign countries who might have the blueprints and knowledge about the construction techniques that were used to build them," the diplomat said. - IANS