Internal rift among elected representatives troubles service seekers

Published On: April 1, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: YUBARAJ BIBASH

DAMAK, April 1: Even though nine months have elapsed since the elected representatives of people took charge of the local bodies, the service seekers are not getting service as expected due to the internal row amongst the elected representatives from different political parties. 

Service seekers in Gauradaha Municipality are waiting to get their housing designs approved for months. But the municipality is delaying to settle their issue. Only a single engineer is deputed there for technical support. The municipality has not recruited any staffer to ease the woes of service seekers since the elected representatives assumed their office in June. 

Mayor of the municipality Rohit Kumar Shah rarely comes to office. Deputy Mayor Gita Bhetwal does not try to resolve the problems even when she comes to the office, according to the locals. Mayor Shah, who was elected from Nepali Congress and Deputy Mayor Bhetwan elected from CPN-UML do not communicate with each other nor do they try to settle the internal rift.  

Instead, both the mayor and deputy mayor blame each other for the growing mess in the office. Deputy Mayor Bhetwal accused Mayor Shah of not giving priority to the service seekers. "Service seekers arrive at the office early in the morning but the mayor does not come to office in time. How can we work when the mayor himself is not giving due priority to his work," Deputy Mayor Bhetwal said. 

Padam Kumar Dhungana has been regularly arriving at the municipality for the last one year to get the certificate for reconstruction of his house.  "I am really frustrated. When the engineer comes to the office the mayor remains absent or vice versa," said Dhungana. 

Another service seeker Tek Bahadur Katuwal is also facing similar problem. He complained that the elected representatives remain unavailable whenever he comes to the office to settle minor issues. 

The municipality concluded its municipal council meeting amid tussle among the different factions. NC accused the UML of not supporting the party which commands majority in the municipal council in creating a conducive environment. The party has accused the UML of showing up its strength. 

The UML has refuted the accusation and blamed the mayor of engaging in minor issues instead of smoothly running the office. 

Narendra Bhandari, who is also the spokesperson of the municipality and regional secretary of UML, accused the mayor of not doing even minor works in the office. "Development activities should have accelerated," said Bhandari, adding, "But the mayor himself is creating problems within the office." 

Bhandari, who is also ward chairperson of Gauradaha ward no 1, said that the municipality is yet to formulate 22 laws to speed up development works.  
Nepali Congress leader Hemant Karki, chairperson of ward no 2, accused the mayor of not giving due priority to run the office and expedite development activities. 

However, Mayor Shah claimed that the development works such as road construction and construction of other infrastructures are underway in full swing. 
"We have expedited such works by forming users' groups at the local level," said Mayor Shah adding, "Other development works will be expedited soon." 

Mayor Shah also claimed that he has given plenty of time to the municipality. 
The municipality has allocated Rs 40.65 million for physical infrastructure development and capacity building whereas Rs 70.20 million has been allocated for infrastructure development in wards and Rs 10 million for targeted groups.  

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