SURKHET, April 23: It has been more than two months since a seven-member cabinet was formed in Karnali province. Six members of the cabinet including the chief minister stay at government provided residence but one of the ministers is still living in a hotel.
After being unable to find a well-facilitated government residence, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Development Khadka Khatri is obliged to stay at Rapti Hotel and Lodge of Birendranagar since more than two months. Khatri has rented two rooms in the hotel after winning the election and has continued to live there even after being appointed as cabinet member. Apart from minister Khatri, his PSO and personal assistant also live in the same hotel.
Minister Khatri's relatives also visit him in the hotel. "Sometimes there are 4-5 people and sometimes there are 15-20 people in his room," said hotel owner Devi Budha. Minister Khatri has expressed his desire of living in the building previously occupied by the Regional Road Division Office (RRDO). As the staffers of the RRDO are yet to leave the building, Minister Khatri has been obliged to stay in the hotel.
Khatri is a permanent resident of Bheri Ganga Municipality, Ramghat. As per sources close to the minister, Khatri is desperate to move into a residential building and is waiting for the staffers of RRDO to leave the building. "I have time and again urged the officers to leave the building but they have not paitd attention to my request," he said.
The Regional Road Division Office which was entrusted with the responsibility of arranging the residence for the cabinet members has proposed the building of Regional Irrigation Office for all ministers except for the chief minister. Currently, Naresh Bhandari, minister for internal affairs and law and Nanda Bahadur Budha, minister for industry, tourism, forest and environment are currently living in the building of irrigation office.
As other ministers showed little interest in living there, four secretaries were kept in the building which was actually proposed for the ministers. "We proposed the building of regional administration for the chief minister and regional irrigation office building for six ministers," said Engineer Jhank Bahadur Thapa, adding, "But only two of the ministers are living in the Irrigation office building. So we recommended the place for four secretaries." He also informed that Minister Khatri will be kept in the building of RRDO as soon as the building will be emptied by the staffers.