Hold local elections

It has been almost eighteen years that the elections of local bodies at the Village Development Committees (VDCs) level have not been held due to lack of political commitment of the past governments and the major political parties. This is very unfortunate for Nepal where all the political leaders claim to be the champions of people’s democracy. They continue to publicly say that the local body election should be held without wasting any more time. The concerned ministers of the Oli-led government do not also seem to hesitate to say that the local bodies’ elections will be held within one year. It has already completed its six months in the office. However, looking at its ongoing political performance, holding the elections to the local bodies throughout the country seems to be merely a false assurance “Civic polls not on govt priority list” (THT, 26 April, Page 1). Even for the interim period, had this election been held on time, most of the allocated development budget would have been appropriately spent and the development works would have been completed on time benefiting the local population. The absence of the elected local bodies could be directly seen during the rehabilitation and reconstruction programme of the post-quake period. Millions of rupees allocated for the local level development activities have been grossly misappropriated by the committee formed by the government composed of the representatives of all the political parties. Many quake victims are still living and languishing in temporary shelters and many of them have not even received any relief materials so far. What a shame for the government and major political parties! Before promulgating the new constitution, all the major political parties had publicly announced that the local level election would be held within six months. It has already been seven months since its promulgation. According to the Election Commission, it needs a Local Body Election Procedure Act before holding local body election. Its draft was sent to the parliament one and half year ago. So far, there has not been any progress on it. Is there any vested interest of the major political parties not to hold the local level election? If not, why don’t they show seriousness?

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj

Malaria

This refers to your article “End Malaria for good” (THT, April 25, Page 8). Nearly 50,000 people die in the country every year due to complications of malaria. Malaria is another vector borne disease spread by mosquitoes. There is a need to strengthen the overall healthcare system in the country to prevent this disease and more financial commitment to contain them.

Prevention of malaria is not just the job of government departments, even people have to join hands to ensure that breeding of vectors is not allowed. Malaria can be prevented by taking several simple precautions. Awareness of the risk of malaria in high risk zones is the first step to prevent malaria. Immediate diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and death.

Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad