Palpa, June 10 :

The Gulmi District Irrigation Office is facing difficulties after the Maoists and the Nepali Army took control of its vehicles. The Bhairab Prasad Battalion of the Nepal Army is using the office’s pick up Toyota (Ba 1 Jha 5277). Until August 2003, the vehicle was being used by the Shiva Dal Company of NA. Similarly, the Maoists have seized a motorcycle (Ba 1 Ba 4440) belonging to the office, in January.

Employees of the DIO said though they have urged both the army and the Maoists to return the vehicles but in vain. Officials at the DIO say lack of vehicles has made it difficult for them to conduct field inspection of irrigation projects operated in different VDCs.

Chief of DIO, Kunjan Bhakta Shrestha, said, “We have repeatedly urged both the army and the Maoists to return the office vehicles but they have ignored our request.”

According to DIO, the office itself is bearing all expenses for the service and maintenance of the vehicle being used by the army. DIO has been operating eight irrigation projects in the district. While the District Administration Office had asked the DIO to provide the vehicle to the army, the Maoists had seized the DIO motorcycle from Jaisithok VDC when its employees were there to inspect Chilidomai and Damaighat projects.