KATHMANDU: The infrastructure sector will require a total investment of Rs 10.9 billion in the next fiscal year to start works on recovery from the impact of the devastating earthquake of April 25. Classifying four major areas under the infrastructure sector, the government has outlined a strategy to complete the reconstruction works in five fiscal years.
The estimated resources required for next fiscal year in infrastructure sector, however, do not include the projected total need of Rs 18.58 billion for reconstruction in the electricity sector.
As per Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), Volume A, Key Finding report made public by National Planning Commission on Tuesday, among the sub-sectors in infrastructure, transport will take up to five years for reconstruction.
Strategic road networks (SRNs), local road networks (LRNs) and civil aviation are under the transport sector and would need altogether Rs 28.18 billion for reconstruction over next five fiscals. In the next fiscal, the sector will require Rs 1.4 billion for highways and bridges and Rs 327 million for district and village road networks.
Recovery needs are estimated at Rs nine billion for SRNs, Rs 19 billion for LRNs and Rs 114 million for civil aviation over next five fiscals.
The LRNs need major recovery works because it was not designed to be disaster resilient due to the relatively low traffic volume. “It is crucial to restore normal accessibility to remote areas as quickly as possible,” according to the report. There will be fast track repairs of minor damages and opening of blocked roads within six months.
In the community infrastructure (trails, bridges, footpaths, community buildings, et cetera) front, there is need of Rs 4.4 billion to carry out reconstruction during the next two fiscal years. Priority will be given to areas that are at risk from landslides and floods.
The report has talked of recovery strategy, under which all worst-hit districts will receive both telecommunications and internet services. Under the communications sector, emphasis has been laid on construction of towers at critical sites both in Valley and other most affected districts. Such towers have to be shared among all operators.
The sector has recovery needs of Rs 4.9 billion over the next four fiscal years, which include Rs 1.5 billion for e-governance infrastructure and Rs 856 million for television broadcasting.
In the electricity sector, reconstruction has been suggested under short-, mid- and long-term plans focusing on power generation with an investment of Rs 12.53 billion. Under short-term measure, government plans to reduce load shedding, distribute solar lanterns, and carry out repair and maintenance works of partially damaged power plants, transmission lines and distribution lines.
In medium-term, measures will be adopted for timely completion of hydropower projects. In long-term, reconstruction of damaged hydropower plants has been planned. Electricity sector had faced total damage worth Rs 21.24 billion, including Rs 3.4 billion in direct losses.
Recovery process will include electricity generation focused on carrying out rapid dam safety assessment of all major dams in the quake-affected areas; transmission to avoid potential risks of interruption due to quake effects and distribution as per Distribution Master Plan and international standards for distribution system.
Under water, sanitation and hygiene sector, out of 11,288 water supply systems, 1,570 sustained major damages, 3,663 partial damages, and almost 220,000 toilets were damaged. The total estimated needs for recovery stand at Rs 18.1 billion for next three fiscals. The funds required include Rs 12.1 billion for reconstruction activities.
Source : The Himalayan Times.