Officers of most rural municipalties stay away from their workplaces

Rautahat, July 26

Service seekers in the remote parts of Rautahat have been hit hard after executive officers of a number of rural municipalities have ensconced themselves in the district headquarters.

Ram Kumar Singh of Ishanath Rural Municipality ran from pillar to post to make a document, but to no avail. “For one, you hardly know where you have to go to get your things done in the changed setting. Then, it is very difficult to find the staff concerned as they don’t stay in their designated places,” lamented Singh, adding that it’s been two weeks that he has been searching for the executive officer Udayashankar Chaudhary.

“Earlier, I heard that he was in Auraiya, but I found the rural municipality office there closed. I then went to search for him in the district headquarters, but there was no trace of him,” Singh shared his frustration.

In fact, it’s not only the executive officer of Ishanath Rural Municipality, but the chiefs of almost all local bodies, who have stationed themselves in the faraway district headquarters rather than their own duty stations.

Among others, executive officers of Madhav Narayan, Paroha, Maulapur, Rajpur, Ishanath, Dewahi Gonahi, Gujara, Brindaban, Bijayapur, Katahariya, Baudhimai, Gadhimai and Durga Bhagawati are staying and operating from Gaur. Rautahat has 16 local levels including three municipalities.

“Earlier the government had vaunted the restructuring of local levels saying the new system would devolve power of the administrative hub of the country to the villages. It now seems that the plight of people who have

to frequent the district headquarters to even get minor things done is never ever going to end,” quipped Shambhu Gupta of Auraiya.

There are also allegations of irregularities in the name of the budget sent to the local level for furnishing offices.

Madhav Narayan Rural Municipality Executive Officer Pralab Kayastha conceded he had to operate from the district headquarters. “As there is only one accountant and he has to look after four offices, we don’t have any option but to operate from Gaur,” he said, adding that services will be delivered from the village-level offices very soon. “As furnishing of offices is under way now, in a week’s time, locals will be able to receive services from the ward and rural municipality and municipality offices,” he said.

On his part, Local Development Officer Umesh Basnet of the District Coordination Committee Rautahat told the local level employees to operate from their duty stations.