No presence of local government in Baitadi district
Baitadi, February 26
Baitadi, as the other 34 districts in Province 7, had elected a local government seven months ago. However, the bitter reality is that Baitadi folks who enthusiastically took part in the election held for the first time in 20 years with the hope of getting government services from nearby local levels are now disappointed.
People in the district have been deprived of even receiving regular services from the local level. Most of the offices of the district-level are yet to be established, putting the needy in difficulty.
Some ward offices here have been placed at rented houses while the ward office of Patan Municipality-8 has been adjusted with the office of neighbouring Ward 9.
Not only ward offices, but also municipalities and rural municipalities here lack their own building. According to Officiating Administrative Officer Prithvi Raj Awasthi of Purchaudi Municipality, they are carrying out municipality works from the rented building.
The municipality is in search of a piece of land to construct its own office building.
Shibanath Rural Municipality in the southern part of the district is not an exception.
The oldest municipality in the district, Dashrathchand Municipality, does not have all its offices.
According to Municipality Mayor Gumani Dutta Panta, they have limited the office just to paper while some employees are yet to reach their assigned stations. Employees and service seekers are both finding it very hard to deliver and receive services.
The high sounding slogan of rights of ‘Singha Durbar to every villages’ chanted before and during the local level election is likely to go meaningless for Baitadi folks.
There are four municipalities and six rural municipalities in the district and they are yet to get a clear way to implement new programmes and polices due to confusion regarding paper work and employee management.
Most local levels have spent just 15 to 20 per cent of the total budget in the first seven months of the current fiscal.
They have not been able to prepare a new draft of development plan as well.
One Dhanbir Dhami of Purchaudi Municipality-1 complained that Purchaudi folks need to visit the district headquarters to take services which are supposed to be available at the local level after the local polls. Employees of offices related to education, health and livestock have not reached the local level.
Padam Bahadur Rokaya of Sigas Rural Municipality stressed that people’s compulsion to walk for hours to reach the centre of Sigas Rural Municipality could not be ignored. The locals are yet to feel the presence of their government in rural areas.
Chair of Sunarya Rural Municipality Bir Bahadur Bista admitted to delay in addressing people’s needs from the local level as the local level was practising federal structures for the first time in the country’ history.