Befuddled officials in bind as to where they belong in reshuffled civic body

KATHMANDU: A new structure in the administration and management by doubling its departments, divisions and sections in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has created a chaos drawing flak from its staffers.

According to the KMC, there were about 2,200 staffers in six departments, 14 divisions and 35 sections in the civic body. The number of departments was upped to 11, divisions to 24 and sections to 62 on February 3, with a view to delivering better services.

"We are confused over what to do or what not to," said Sudarshan Bhattarai, an official at the Social Welfare Department of the KMC. "Because of the delay in splitting and merging the departments and divulging responsibilities to the different organs, we are confused as to where we will be placed," he added.

Senior officials at the civic body are dissatisfied with the restructuring

and accuse the administration of bringing it about without thorough study and preparation.

Other officers argue that the present organ heads are afraid of power devolution following the restructuring.

The previous structure was formed three years ago. There were 14 departments and 32 sections in the KMC then. "The present system was brought into practice without holding a wide discussion," said Shanta Ram Pokhrel, head of the Administration Department, which has now been split into the Human Resource and Administration Departments. "I am still

undecided over which department I will be assigned to," he said. The KMC officials criticise the new structure terming it 'unscientific and contradicting with laws and norms'.

Those who claim that financial burden would also increase in the new structure are still in a dilemma and don’t know if it will be implemented. "We cannot say anything before the structure is actually implemented. However, we are in the process of implementing it," Pokhrel said.

The staffers complained that merging the Commodity Division to the Finance Department was against the Public Purchase Act, which provisions commodity under the Purchase Unit.

"We had to analyse whether the big structure was at all necessary," said employee union officials.

"There are 96 positions

of heads in the new structure while the KMC has only 76 officer-level staffers," they said.

"The KMC plans will make headway only after Rai's return from Japan in a week," said Deepak Koirala, deputy executive chief and spokesperson at the KMC. He was referring to Ganesh Rai, the executive chief at the KMC who is currently on a visit to Japan. "The process is indeed legal and it will be implemented effectively," Koirala claimed.

However, KMC has failed to bring out the budget of the current fiscal year despite the fact that half the year has already passed by.