Fund for earthquake-affected schools frozen due to feud

PHIDIM, July 15

Millions of rupees meant for reconstruction and repairs of quake-damaged physical infrastructure of schools in Panchthar have been frozen, thanks to the row between local political party leaders and chiefs of government bodies in the district.

A fund of 3.1 million rupees to be spent through District Education Office was frozen as representatives of political parties and chiefs of the district administration and district education office were at odds over the use of the fund.

Chief District Officer Purushottam Ghimire, Chief Education Officer Gyanmani Nepal and political party representatives including CPN-UML district Chairman Raj Kumar Bhandari attended the meeting.

“As the meeting started in the administration office, CPN-UML the chairperson wanted the amount be spent as per the decision of political parties, to which Chief Education Officer Gyanmani Nepal protested. This was followed by badmouthing,” said Lekhnath Khatiwada, district chairperson of Human Rights Network and Peace Action Group.

After CDO Ghimire too favoured Bhandari, LDO Tulasi Bahadur Shrestha said the issue would be resolved later at a meeting of the district education committee.

However, the fund was frozen as the meeting could not take any decision on the use of the fund.

Technicians fail to collect fair data

PHIDIM: Stakeholders in Panchthar have accused technicians assigned to collect details of damaged physical infrastructure of schools of failing to carry out their responsibility fairly.

A 41-member team of technicians was assigned to collect details of the damage by the district natural disaster rescue committee.

The data collected was made public recently. The report shows 170 completely damaged school buildings but it is said the report did not include five schools that suffered huge damage and included many schools that did not suffer any damage.

Despite being damaged, Nangin Secondary School of Pul Bhanjyang, Jana Kalyan Secondary School of Phidim, Siddhadevi Higher Secondary School in Nawamidanda, Bhagawati Secondary School of Siwa and Devkota Primary School of Chokmaju were not included in the list.