Lack of infrastructure hits local levels hard

Kathmandu, January 28

The ward chairs of Suryagadi Municipality have been referring service seekers to the municipality office for registration of personal events. “Personal event registration is the ward’s task, but they are compelled to send people to the municipality due to lack of infrastructure”, said Chief Executive Officer Uttam Khatiwada.

The Municipality itself is running in a four-room building where managing the task is very difficult.

Mayor Santa Bahadur Tamang is in the capital these days to lobby for land for construction of the municipality building. From the premises of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, he said, “We are made to give service which should be done from four to five rooms from four to five desks inside a room.” According to him the municipality could not construct or expand as the land is owned by Department of Forest. “It seems that our entire tenure will go into just the initial set-up and learning how to run the local government,” Mayor Tamang said.

Joramal Rural Municipality of Doti is also suffering from the problem of lack of infrastructure. The  RM leadership is seeking help from MoFALD officers and newly elected parliamentary member Prem Bahadur Ale.

“Majority of local levels are housed in rented buildings and some other offices related to the local government are running from separate places”, Ale told THT. Ale also said that not only infrastructure, the local representative also do not have adequate knowledge of the legal process. “Some rural municipalities’ chairs have allocated budget arbitrarily without calling a village council,” he added.

Thaha Municipality of Makawanpur is also fighting against lack of infrastructure. Mayor Laba Sher Bista said six ward offices out of 12 in the municipality are running in rented houses. “We did not find any building to rent for Ward No 4 office, so the offices of Ward 4 and 3 are running from a single building,” he added.

Internet connectivity among the wards and municipality office is also problematic. “Staffers of three wards are made to use manual system for registrations, recommendations and other legal processes as the wards do not have internet connection yet”, Mayor Bista added. MoFALD had made websites of all the local levels, but the website is activated only in those local levels where staffers and leadership are smart or they already know about information technology.