Year of sweat and a barren Dashain: 5,000 workers denied year’s pay

Dhading, October 8:

Due to utter irresponsibility of the District Development Committee, 5,000 workers of Dhading district have not been paid their wages, leaving them in financial trouble on the eve of Dashain.

5,000 workers who had been working for the past one year in different development constructions and projects organised by District Development Committee were deprived from their pay due to the transfer of Local Development Officer.

Workers who had worked in these projects, hoping to get the Dashain allowances, are now in distress after they didn’t get their wages. The workers said, “They had assured us of giving money in bulk prior to Dashain. But now they are saying that we won’t be getting any money as there is no one to sign the checks.”

“All year long, we worked hoping our Dashain will be good. Now how are we supposed to celebrate Dashain?” asked one labourer, Krishna Bahadur Nepali, working at Jana Gaun Road for the past six months.

The LDO, Bharat Kumar Regmi was transferred from Dhading after he was accused of financial irregularities worth Rs 6.4 million in a DDC contract related to construction materials. Even though the new LDO, Sam Dhuni Yadav has been appointed to the post, he has not yet joined office because of which the problem has cropped up. A local NGO, SINET working in Dhading informed that the engineer who was given the responsibility for the position of LDO has also been transferred to Ramechhap.

The workers, who had been working in the local development projects since the start of monsoon in the hope of Dashain expenses, have now no one to turn to. Tika Prasad Kandel of Jana Gaun Road Construction Committee said that governments’ irresponsibility in the matter is the main cause of trouble for the workers. He added that 5,000 workers working in different projects like rural road construction, drinking water, irrigation canal, school building in the DDC now have not money to celebrate Dashain.

Chairman of Dhading DDC, Gokarna Raj Lamichhane said that he has time and again urged the Acting Local Development Officer and officials of the ministry to arrange money for the poor workers but the request hasn’t been heard. He added that he would try his best to solve the problem by coming Sunday.