Rural municipal offices in huts, ward offices run from bags

Bajura, September 26

Local bodies, including rural municipalities and municipalities in Bajura are facing difficulties delivering services to the locals for want of office space.

The office of Gaumul Rural Municipality has been operating from a hut. Chairman of the rural municipality Hari Bahadur Rokaya said the office was made with corrugated sheets after a suitable building space for office operation could not be found.

Lack of building has hit regular service delivery in the rural municipality. Rokaya said rural municipality chief, deputy chief and staff were working from the hut they built. Deputy chief of the rural municipality, Sita Rokaya, said the ward office was being operated from a bag containing stamp and documents.

There are as many as nine local levels in Bajura. Of them, Badimalika Municipality is the only municipal operating from a well-managed rented building. The remaining eight local levels are having a hard time providing services for want of building, said District Coordination Committee Officer Prakashraj Paudel. While rural municipalities and municipalities do not have buildings for office space, one can imagine the condition of ward offices, Paudel added.

Himali Rural Municipality Chair Govind Bahadur Malla said they had been operating the office from a rented space that was formerly used by a shop due to lack of building. “We are having a hard time working due to lack of proper space for the office,” Malla said. There are 69 wards in nine local bodies of the district. Ward offices need to carry out regular work on a daily basis, but they were being operated from bags for want of building space.

Ward No 1 Chair Bir Bahadur Rawal of Chhededaha Rural Municipality said office stamps and documents were kept in bags. “We have put up an office sign board. But, we have not been able to carry out work from one place,” Rawal complained.

The local bodies are in a double whammy as they lack both office space and employees. Lack of employees has thrown service delivery system and regular work into a mess. District Coordination Officer Prakash Raj Paudel said local levels, including ward offices, were in need of 129 staffers. “A non-gazetted first class officer has to be in the ward offices. But, the offices even lack a second class non-gazetted officer,” he added.