Gaighat, September 17
Newly elected local level representatives in Udaypur district seem to be more inclined to enjoying facilities and benefits for themselves rather than carrying out development activities in their respective municipalities and rural municipalities.
Of the district’s total eight local levels that comprise four municipalities and as many rural municipalities, only one local unit has held its municipal council meeting so far. That meeting too focused on allotting budget for purchase of expensive motorbikes and cars worth millions of rupees for their own use. “Not a single representative in the meeting questioned the decision to buy vehicles and set aside facilities and perks for themselves,” said a municipality staffer who preferred not be named.
“I am surprised to see their penchant for perks and benefits. These are the same people who promised to devote themselves to the development of their local levels. But they do not seem serious about what they had promised during elections and what people voted them for,” said the staffer.
The council meeting of Katari Municipality had allotted budget to purchase motorbikes for all ward chairpersons and luxurious four-wheelers for the mayor and his deputy . There is also a tendency among local levels to purchase vehicles before convening their municipal council meetings.
The municipality had purchased 11 motorbikes each worth Rs 200,000 for ward chairpersons before the council met, without going through the proper procurement procedure. Locals doubt the mayor might have been involved in financial irregularities as no tender was called while making those purchases.
A version of this article appears in print on September 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.