Nepal | August 08, 2020

EDITORIAL: Hollow Sarkar

The Himalayan Times
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How can the Hello Sarkar with just 16 junior employees claim to have resolved all these grievances within one year

The Hello Sarkar was formed in 2011 by the then PM Baburam Bhattarai to address public grievances across the country as soon as possible.

The grievance-hearing mechanism was formed within the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), which means it is under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister who is briefed occasionally about the progress being made on addressing the people’s grievances related to various ministries, departments and offices directly related to the public.

The Hello Sarkar regularly makes public its work covering the period of one fiscal year. The Hello Sarkar has claimed it settled as many as 43,645 complaints within the fiscal year 2015/16.

It said most of the complaints were related to the Ministries of Home Affairs, Education, Federal Affairs and Local Development, Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Finance, Nepal Electricity Authority and Water Supply and Sewerage Management.

All of these ministries are related directly to the people’s everyday life.

All of the issues the Hello Sarkar claims to have resolved are the government’s long-term policies and programmes that take years to accomplish. But it claims to have resolved them without wasting time.

The Hello Sarkar has claimed that it has resolved the shortage of fuel, black marketing, embezzlement in relief distribution to the earthquake survivors, load-shedding, irregular drinking water supply, corruption, foreign employment fraud, overcharging of transport fare, air pollution, poor road infrastructure, shortage of school textbooks and delay in distribution of the first tranche of housing grant to earthquake victims.

These were actually the complaints lodged through Hello Sarkar’s Facebook and Twitter pages, telephone calls and emails. The only work Hello Sarkar, where 16 government employees have been deployed to receive complaints, did was to forward them to the concerned authorities for redressal.

The Hello Sarkar’s claim of resolving these problems is nothing but hogwash.

Had the Hello Sarkar resolved all these grievances, as it stated, there would not have been irregularities and embezzlement in government institutions and the CIAA would have received little complaints on corruption, the earthquake survivors would already have permanent houses; power outage would have become history and the people of the Valley would have regular supply of drinking water round the clock and children in the remote areas would not have had to wait for months to get the textbooks delivered on time.

These are the perennial problems that the country has been confronting for long. How can the Hello Sarkar with just 16 junior employees claim to have resolved all these grievances within one year whereas the entire government machinery has failed to do so for decades?

It had only received such complaints through its social networking sites, telephones and emails, and not resolved them at all as claimed by the so-called Hello Sarkar which does not have any institutional capacity and jurisdiction.

The very purpose of its formation was to redress minor public related problems such as potholes on the roads, loose hanging of electricity and telephone wires on the roadsides, and other such problems that can be fixed immediately.

Will the PM tell his employees not to make such silly claims in the future?

Litter bugs

The Metropolitan Police Range, Jawalakhel has done commendable work by nabbing 31 litterers in five days for dumping wastes at public places dressed in civvies and uniform.

They were handed over to the Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City. It is high that stern steps were taken against the violators of the law.

At present, the Solid Waste Management Act provides fining offenders Rs. 500 to Rs. 100,000 or imprisonment of up to three months. Managing wastes has been a major challenge for the capital city which produces 450 tonnes of garbage everyday.

As such, to assist in managing the wastes which can be very harmful if not done properly, the capital’s denizens should be made to segregate disposable and non-disposable wastes and dump them in the allocated locations which can then be collected for final disposal.

Such tough measures should be in place if we plan to have a clean city. With the passage of time more wastes are being produced.

Since around 65 per cent of wastes are organic it means they could be used to make safe manure and also to produce bio-gas for cooking purposes.

A version of this article appears in print on September 06, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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