Budget misuse in drinking water project in Parsa

Published On: June 25, 2017 08:50 AM NPT By: Ritesh Tripathi

BIRGUNJ, June 24: Drinking Water and Sanitation Division in Parsa district has found misuse of budget allocated for a drinking water project. 

When locals here at Gamhariya village, using the Right to Information (RTI) Act, asked for the project details, the employees misbehaved with the locals. Then, they reached to the District Administration Office (DAO) to register their complaint.  

Drinking Water and Sanitation Division, Parsa, has got a total of Rs 89 million for shallow tube well and over head water tank project in the current fiscal year. According to the office engineer Dinesh Prasad Shah, 60 percent of budget has been used till last month. “We cannot give you the exact details of the budget. It takes time to prepare,” he added. “This year’s target is to dig 1,046 shallow tube wells in the district.” 

Locals started investigation into the matter as they smelt a rat finding the employees’ activities doubtful. They found that the office employees had provided a document of 78 pages with fake details. The detail of tube well’s depth is shorter in comparison to what is mentioned in the estimation. 

According to the locals, the depth of tube well is supposed to be 250 feet but the depth is shorter. Engineer Shah claimed that the tube well’s depth is 240 to 250 feet. However, the reality is different. Investigation found that the depth of tube well is only 110 feet to 140 feet. Even the depth of tube well a mosque yard is 185 feet. Locals are furious, saying that the office has committed irregularities even in the work done at a place of religious significance. Among 34 tube wells dug in this year, not a single tube well has 250-ft depth.

When villagers found the employees wrongdoings, the employees are now trying to conceal the mistake. “It is normal to find differences between the estimation and the field work. Sometimes mistakes happen in such works,” said Engineer Yadav.

Tube wells aren’t installed yet in most of the places, mentioned in the office notice, and the details are only in papers. The office has even listed names of some households who have not installed tube well yet. On the other hand, it is also found that the office has included names of some households who have installed tube wells on their own. According to the locals, the office has even installed the tube well to the residence of other villages that used to live in Gamhariya in the past. “Some of our villagers are in Birgunj and Kathmandu. Will the office install tube well at their houses too?” Saroj, a local, wondered.  

Division office selects one person as a protector in needy places but in Sirsiya four members of same family has been selected for different places and installed tube well. One of the villagers, Rajesh Chauhan, claimed that officials have even included names of some individuals who have already passed away. 

Engineer Shah said the depth of tube well ranges from 210 feet to 220 feet, while Chauhan claimed that the depth ranges between only 100 to 150 feet.
In their complaints to DAO Parsa, locals have demanded the local administration to take action against those involved in misusing money allocated from the state coffers.

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