Months on, Diktel still awaiting ODF status

Khotang, December 14

Though months have passed, the much awaited programme to declare Khotang’s Diktel Municipality an Open Defecation Free Zone has been stalled, thanks to the long-standing row between local political leaders over the chief guest for the declaration programme.

According to Diktel Town Development Committee Chairperson Bhoj Kumar Basnet, the programme has been put off indefinitely.

“Earlier, there were plans to invite Nepali Congress proportional CA lawmaker Saraswati Bajimaya as the chief guest, but later as UML made it an issue and insisted on making directly-elected lawmaker Bajimaya the chief guest, the programme had to be put off,” Basnet revealed.

The programme was earlier scheduled for July 3 and preparations like gate construction, cultural procession, and stage management were over.

“Despite the fact that everything was ready, we had to postpone the event at the last minute because of the dispute over the chief guest,” said Dhan Prasad Giri, coordinator of Drinking Water and Sanitation Coordination Committee Secretariat.

The locals, however, rued the effect of the political wrangling on the programme as it had also affected the broader target to declare the entire district open defecation free zone in near future.

The district comprises one municipality and 72 VDCs. All the VDCs, except Diktel municipality, in the district have already attained ODFZ status.