Bureaucrats complain of undue pressure from elected representatives

Published On: June 12, 2018 07:26 AM NPT

RAMPUR, June 11: Just like in other local units, four bureaucrats were transferred to Rampur Municipality of Palpa as executive officers after the local elections a year ago.

But there is a trend of such officials relocating their offices within months against their two-year term complaining of undue pressure from elected representatives to work against the rules.

According to Rampur Municipality, Surath Pokhrel, Yogendra Upadhyay, Basu Dev Regmi and Gyan Raj Koirala were transferred to the municipality as executive officers. Pokhrel, Upadhyay and Regmi stayed for some months though they were assigned for two years as per the rules.

Rajendra Lamsal, coordinator of Rampur Municipal Committee of Nepal Communist Party (CPN), said that the executive officers did not enjoy working in Rampur because of irregularities of the elected representatives and their pressure to work against the laws. 

“Rs 2.5 million was allocated by the municipal council meeting to each of the 10 wards for gravelling roads. However, an additional Rs 2.7 million was allocated without approval,” Lamsal said. “Instead of gravelling roads, they were left as it is,” he added. “It’s only one example. They are doing many such illegal activities.”

Rampur Municipality spends about Rs 500 million annually but in an opaque manner and without informing the opposition parties.

Under-secretary Regmi stayed there for just a month against his plan of staying longer at Rampur. Regmi said he did not like to work there due to the lapses of governance system.
“I came to Rampur on May 2 full of excitement to do something important but left on June 2 with frustration,” Regmi told Republica. “I had brought two bags full of books thinking that I will be staying there longer. I thought I would work to bring changes in the municipality but all in vain,” he said.

Regmi found that the municipality did not have a working environment. “The governance system, technical manpower and physical infrastructures and facilities in the municipality are very poor.”
The municipality spends about Rs 500 million annually but in an opaque manner and without informing the opposition parties, according to Regmi. 

“The approach of elected representatives and the way they view the government officials are negative,” he added. “If they follow rules, no government official will shun his/her responsibilities,” said Regmi, revealing the cause for leaving the municipality within a month.

Another instance of irregularities, according to documents received by Republica, is that the municipal meeting held on April 19 decided to appoint Kapil Bahadur Khand as advisor. The law only allows hiring technical staff but not an advisor. 

Later, the elected representatives reportedly incorporated a provision of including posts of an advisor and a planning coordinator using a different ink with different handwriting. It has been reported that Khand is not a qualified expert for the post.

Raman Bahadur Thapa was elected mayor of the municipality during the local election held on June 28 from the Nepali Congress (NC). NC has majority seats in the municipality including the posts of mayor, deputy mayor and six ward chairpersons. Out of 52 elected representatives in the municipality, 21 including six ward chairs and members are from the then CPN-UML.

Mayor Thapa said that the executive officers did not stay longer under the pretext of the local unit not having local laws.

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