A swanky four-wheeler with registration number Ko 1 Ja 640 arranged by Sunsari district's Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City was readied for the newly elected mayor Harkaraj Rai (Sampang) to ride while he spartanly assumed office yesterday.

But in what came as a shockingly surprising twist, the newly-elected mayor announced he was renouncing vehicular services provided by his office to the executive head of the sub-metropolis.

Harkaraj instead pledged to serve the sub-metropolis having over 1.7 million population riding his two-wheeler (motorcycle). He would rather walk around observing the situation in his sub-metropolis and interacting with locals than whizzing around in his luxurious office car.

The independent candidate who won in the recently held local election with 20,821 votes took to his social networking sites to make such announcements and commitments.

He argued, "If I go around in an expensive car, I will not be able to seethe potholes and damaged roads on the way.

Nor will I be able to feel the difficulties, inconvenience and issues facing Dharan folks from inside a four-wheeler. I, thus, will ride my own motorcycle and repair the potholes and fix the cracks as well as damaged roads."

The social campaigner, who now loves to name himself a 'servant' had for long been raising his voice regarding public concern in Dharan. He made public his phone numbers (9819012371 and 9746965198) through his page in social networking sites and urged Dharan folks to call him directly if they were facing any issues such as drinking water, electricity problems or other irregularities if any.

Rai has not visited his office after taking oath of office. He also had announced that he would be working in the field most of the time to observe and address the real issues plaguing Dharan and its people.

Furthermore, after being elected mayor, various social organisations have begun inviting him to honour him. The new mayor elect, through his social networking sites, earnestly appealed to the people not to invite him to such events and let him be at the disposal of the public and ensure them smooth delivery of public services.

"My first priority would be increasing the productivity of the drinking water project and adding more resources," he admitted.

One of his maiden tasks in his new role was forming a taskforce to study scientific tax system and offer recommendations besides identifying sources of revenue, Rai said.

The 39-year-old executive chief of Dharan sub-metropolis reaffirmed he would move ahead for the greater good of Dharan sub-metropolis by bringing on board all sides and political parties.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 26, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.