Irregularities alleged in Bajura development projects

Bajura, October 24

It has come to light that technicians and staffers at Karnali Employment Programme are involved in irregularities in development projects launched in fiscal 2016-17 in Bajura.

Apparently, technicians and staffers have taken money from consumer committees of the projects launched in the north-eastern belt of the district, on various pretexts. The government had launched these projects to provide employment to local youths with foreign financial aid. Road construction, irrigation, and canal management are some of the projects launched in the district at present.

“As many as 14 development projects worth Rs 40 million were launched in the last fiscal. Staffers and technicians had demanded money from all projects,” said Budhinanda Municipality Deputy Mayor Shristi Regmi.

Locals from Migum of Swami Kartik Rural Municipality-5 said engineer Nabin Pandey demanded Rs 50,000 from the local Migu Drinking Water Project. “Pandey had demanded Rs one lakh from the 1.5 million-rupee project in the beginning. However, we gave him Rs 50,000,” said Gamma Mahatara, secretary of the consumer committee. He demanded the sum reasoning that he had to share it with other engineers, project chief and other staffers.

Similarly, it came to light that engineer Pandey was given Rs 1.5 lakh from Bhaat Irrrigation Project at Kotila of Budhinanda Municipality. The project had a budget of Rs 19.5 lakh.

However, consumer committee chairperson Chhatra Malla didn’t disclose the amount but he admitted that they had provided him a certain amount. “We provided engineer Pandey with a little amount for his hospitality,” said Malla.

It is said that staffers and technicians took Rs 2 lakh from Dhulachour-Phaiti Road Project, Rs three lakh from Dhim-Phaiti Road Project, Rs 1.5 lakh from Badhupadi Road Project and Rs one lakh from Kolti-Budhinanda Road Project through the consumer committees.

Meanwhile, District Coordination Committee Engineer and Acting Coordination Officer Junga Bahadur Thapa said he had heard about the irregularities. “Some consumer committee members said engineer Pandey demanded money saying that he would do the needful for new projects. “We will take action after necessary investigation,” said engineer Thapa.