Call for all-party apparatus to make local bodies efficient

Kathmandu, May 15:

A common mechanism involving all major parties elected to the constituent assembly is needed to make efficient the local bodies, which are without elected representatives for the last six years, a research report said today.

A report — Civic Opinion on Local Bodies-2008 — prepared by Institute of Governance and Development (IGD) said the local bodies’ services should be immediately improved, as the people have not been able to receive the needed services from these local government units, which are being handled by civil servants in the absence of elected representatives.

The report was prepared based on interview with 826 people including government officials, former elected representatives to the local bodies and civil society members in three districts — Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

As there are immediate prospects for local elections, 74 per cent of the VDC secretaries interviewed, 79 per cent of former mayors and VDC chairpersons and 64 per cent of civil society members called for an all-party mechanism to expedite the work of the local bodies.

The 89 per cent of interviewed government officials working in the local bodies said the demand for intervention of local bodies for development works has increased in the past year after the restoration of peace. Most of the civil society members (66 per cent) complained about the decreasing efficiency of the local bodies in the past few years, the report said.