EDITORIAL: Looking forward

The restructuring of the local level will save a lot of time and money of the people as they will not have to spend a lot simply to obtain government services

There has been a lot of enthusiasm across the country over the upcoming local level election being held on May 14 after a hiatus of almost 20 years.

It was in 1997 when the last local bodies election was held. The newly-reconstructed local level units have been given immense rights and powers which also function as the local governments working closely with the local communities.

After the local level election is held it is expected that the people will not have to cover long distances to get their jobs done from the existing district headquarters which provide, among others, citizenship certificates, passports, land-ownership papers and judicial services.

All necessary services to be provided by the government will be available from the nearest areas which will develop as new townships and service centres.

The restructuring of the local level will save a lot of time and money of the general people as they will not have to spend a lot of money simply to obtain government services.

The local people in the rural areas will get 21 types of government services from the rural municipalities, and they need not visit existing district headquarters to get such services.

This is a positive development that has been visible across the country after the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development issued circulars to all local levels along with the deployment of government officials making the local levels fully functional.

When elected representatives take charge of their offices they will discuss development plans according to local requirements to be supported by the federal and provincial governments.

What is the most noticeable change that has recently taken place in rural areas is that the people have stopped visiting existing district headquarters as they have already started getting government services from their doorsteps after the rural municipalities were set up.

New townships are being developed in the rural areas where the rural municipalities have been headquartered. Road connectivity will also be developed in line with the restructuring of the local level bringing changes in rural life.

With the shifting of the government offices in rural municipalities political parties have also concentrated their activities in the rural areas giving the local people a positive impression about the importance of the local level.

As the people are very excited about the local level election the political parties at the centre should also focus their attention towards creating a conducive environment about holding the local level election on the stipulated date.

With the election date fast-approaching, there has been confusing reports even from the major political parties, some arguing that the local election may be deferred for some time or it may be held in two phases or it could be held after making amendments to the constitution in line with the revised amendment bill recently registered by the government.

Such inconsistent views will simply dampen the people’s hope of electing their representatives to govern the local level with greater responsibility.

The local level election is also the first step towards holding elections of the provincial assembly and federal parliament within January 21, 2018, a constitutional deadline.

Straying leopards

There have been sightings of leopards in the capital city. Most of the leopards are believed to have strayed into human settlements from the Shivapuri forest.

However, these days fewer such sightings have been reported as a result of which the plans afoot to conduct behavioral study of leopards by fitting them with radio collars have yet to be initiated although it was intended to do them around 10 months ago.

The data collected through radio tracking of the leopards would come in very useful. It would enable the wildlife experts to collect data like home range sizes, their daily movement and the study of their behavior.

All the leopards that enter human settlements would be fitted with radio collars enabling them to be tracked.

This would be done after tranquilizing the wandering leopards in the residential areas, and then they would be examined. According to experts, the leopards found in Nepal are mostly Indian leopards.

There are snow leopards in the Himalayas and clouded leopards in the Mahabharat range. The Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by forests where there are leopards.

These, unlike other wildcats, hunt both during the day and the night.