Earthquake: Nepal’s lone billionaire to build 1,000 temporary houses

  • Utpal Prashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: May 07, 2015 10:32 IST

With monsoon just few weeks away providing shelter for thousands whose houses were damaged in last month’s quake is a big challenge for Nepal.

Nepal’s only billionaire Binod Chaudhary, 59, announced on Wednesday plans to construct 1,000 temporary houses in the quake-affected districts and allot them for free.

The head of Chaudhary Group, which has stakes in instant noodles, education, construction, electronics and hospitality among others, is worth $1.3 billion and ranked as the 1,306th richest man in the world by Forbes magazine.

Besides the 1,000 houses, which are expected to cost anywhere between NRs 50,000 to NRs 100,000, the group also plans to build 9,000 more houses with coordination of donor countries and agencies.

Chaudhary, whose family originally hails from Rajasthan, also pledged to donate NRs 250 million (around Rs 15 crore) for quake relief and rebuild 100 damaged schools.

According to Nepal government estimates, over 500,000 houses have been damaged in the quake (28,000 completely and 237,000 partially) in the quake leaving nearly a million Nepalis homeless.

Thousands of quake affected are still sleeping in open spaces with just tarpaulins and plastic sheets to protect themselves from the weather.

Meanwhile, the government said that while foreign search and rescue teams left Nepal on request, international medical experts are still taking care of the injured. 85 international medical teams are present in Kathmandu.

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