Ministry’s bifurcation: For better or worse?

KATHMANDU: It was a sight to see in Singha Durbar today. Staffers of Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Science and Technology, following the bifurcation of the then Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, were busy setting up their offices. But, lack of enough rooms for the senior government officials of the two new ministries was posing problem.

A staffer in MoE, busy in fixing the nameplates, said, “All the nameplates are not complete and we are putting names randomly. Please, come to see the complete names tomorrow.”

Without much homework and planning, the government decided to make two ministries of the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology two months ago.

The entrance for both the ministries is same. The two-storey building, where the single ministry was housed earlier, has been divided randomly for the two ministries. Newly appointed MoE secretary, Dr Udaya Raj Sharma, attended the office for the first time after he was transferred from the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation a week ago. His room was managed in the room of the earlier joint secretary.

“One new minister is yet to be appointed and the staffers have not decided where to set up office for him,” said a staffer.

The MoST is yet to get the minister. The small building has to house 73 staff of MoE and 38 staffs of MoST, along with two ministers and two secretaries.

“These two ministries are among the least prioritised ministries,” a senior official at MoE said. “These technical ministries don’t have adequate technical human resource, infrastructure and strong leadership.”

Former minister of the then Ministry of Environment Science and Technology, Ganesh Shah, said “It’s very difficult to put the issues of environment and the science and technology in the high priority of government as the other political issues are always dominant.”