Promise to decentralize Singha Durbar's power limited to slogan only

Published On: August 24, 2017 04:01 AM NPT By: Suman Malla

MUGU, August 24: Locals of Mugu district still remember how difficult it was for them to seek services from the local government bodies. Locals of all the VDCs needed to reach the district headquarters even for a minor service. Due to the bureaucratic hassles, they had long yearned for local representatives with hopes that it would ease the lengthy process. Their wish got fulfilled after the local level elections of May 14. But, the scenario has not changed event to this day.

The previous government that conducted the elections had promised to decentralize Singha Durbar's power to municipalities and rural municipalities. Locals of Mugu believed in their promise and hoped to see the presence of government at local level. Yet, even after four months, the promises have not been fulfilled.

All the works of rural municipalities and municipalities of the district are still being carried out by the district headquarters as before. Ward offices and other important local bodies are still stationed at the district headquarters, compelling the locals of rural areas to endeavor difficult journey even for small works.

Under the new federal setup, the then 24 VDCs were turned into one municipality and three rural municipalities with 45 wards in total. However, government employees have not joined the local ward offices and offices of the municipality and rural municipalities, creating problems for the locals. Locals of remote areas still have to walk up to four days to reach the district headquarters Gamgadhi to get recommendation for citizenship, birth certificate, death certificate among others.

“In Soru Rural Municipality, which lies in the northern part of the district, all of its 11 wards do not have ward chiefs. We have no choice but to travel to the district headquarters looking for them,” said Devi Lal Malla, a local. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Hari Junga Shahi of Gamgadhi Municipality said local representatives have been directed to set up their office at their own wards and provide service from there within a month. 

“The government delegated powers to the local representatives so that Singha Durbar's power could be delegated to local level. Local representatives cannot stay in district headquarters. They should now head to their own wards and provide services from there,” added Mayor Shahi.

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