Pokhara, September 28
Local bodies in Gandaki Province have complained that the provincial government ignored them while carrying out development activities.
Syangja’s Banethok-Biruwa road is a project of strategic importance for Bhirkot Municipality. The provincial government allocated budget for road upgradation. The contractor started work on the road following a tender process.
Bhirkot Municipality Mayor Chhayaram Khanal monitored the ongoing project work. Dissatisfied with the substandard work, he asked the contractor to enhance the quality of the work, but to no avail.
“Earlier, vehicles plied on the road round the year. However, after its upgradation the road is in a sorry state and vehicular movement on the road comes to a halt in the rainy season,” said Khanal. The municipality will halt any development projects run by the provincial government, if launched without cooperating with the concerned local level, according to Khanal.
In another case, the provincial government set aside some budget to blacktop Syangja’s Putalibazaar Municipality’s Pragatinagar-Dyangdi road. As there was no monitoring from the provincial government, the shrewd contractor carried on with sub-standard work.
“As we couldn’t tolerate sub-standard work, we requested the chief district officer to intervene and stop the work, but to no avail. The cunning contractor completed it,” said Putalibazaar Deputy Mayor Mahesh Puri.
Purbi Nawalpur’s Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality Chairperson Dambar Bahadur GC also complained of lack of cooperation from the provincial government.
“We’ had projects on the priority list prepared following due deliberation, but couldn’t implement them as the provincial government refused to provide us the required budget. Now the provincial government is investing on projects that are not priority for the locals,” GC said.
Rural Municipality Federation Gandaki Chairperson Ishwor Pande said conflict between the provincial and the local level governments has repeatedly manifested itself as development projects have been launched as per the whims of political leaders, according to a civil society member.
A version of this article appears in print on September 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.