‘Lavish’ terms force Indian NGO to pull out of quake-hit Nepal

The NGO was planning to build 100 health posts in the country and Nepal wanted granite finish on all tops of work counters, besides heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

“Harsh” terms and conditions and “way too lavish” guidelines by quake-hit Nepal has forced an Indian NGO to abandon its ambitious reconstruction plans for the Himalayan country. The NGO, Bhartiya Jain Sanghatna (BJS), which was planning to build 100 health posts in the country, has now wound up its operations after the authorities refused to tone down the stiff conditions. BJS head Shantilal Muttha said the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health and Planning had made it an “insurmountable challenge” to complete the task and has also raised the issue with the Indian embassy in Kathmandu. He said the list of facilities, which were required to be incorporated in the project, were “way too lavish”. These, he said, included granite finish on all tops of work counters, besides heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Other facilities the Nepalese authorities wanted to be included were marble floor for corridors, waiting spaces and staircase treads, besides carpets in the office space and conference room, solar heating system, solar back up generators, hospital waste management plan and fire safety considerations. “The MoHP has mandated the provision of certain facilities for a health post which are practically impossible for an NGO to fulfill while providing reconstruction services free of cost. As per our survey/records/photographs even the existing healthcare services in Nepal do not provide such facilities through a health post. “The Nepal authorities also put the onus of taking a public hearing on us in the village we intended to build the posts. How can we do that in a foreign country? We were left with no option, but to wind up the operation,” Muttha, founder of the BJS said.



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