Technicians deployed to Ramechhap by the National Reconstruction Authority to oversee the post-earthquake reconstruction works are on a strike for the past one month. Their protest has affected the families awaiting the government’s aid to build their homes.
The agitating engineers have demanded that the government provide them additional allowances and facilities. Earlier, to put pressure on the government, they had picketed the NRA Central Project Implementation Unit and padlocked the office of the NRA District Project Implementation Unit.A week earlier, the Nepal Engineering Council had held talks with the protesting engineers and convinced the latter to resume their work. However, the engineers deployed to Ramechhap are yet to return to work. They said the council’s assurance to address their concerns was not enough.It is the government that should take the decision regarding their demands, they added. The engineers have warned of resigning en masse if they are kept waiting.Several elected representatives in Ramechhap say that the dissenting engineers should be prosecuted for their defiance. Khamba Dhoj Basnet, an elected official of Bamti Rural Municipality, said that the engineers were on strike from the first week of March. Their protest has done a disservice to the earthquake victims who have been living in a miserable condition for the last four years.
The protest has also delayed the NRA’s plan of conducting an assessment in the district to find out if there are any families who have been left out from the government’s aid programme for the victims of the 2015 earthquake. According to the NRA District Project Implementation Unit, 160 technicians have been mobilised in Ramechhap to oversee the construction of private homes.