ROLPA, April 23: The auxiliary health workers (AHWs) of three wards of Madi Rural Municipality of Rolpa are handling the responsibility of ward secretaries due to the lack of sufficient workforce. Similarly, in Thabang Rural Municipality, workers hired on contract for the Livestock and Agriculture Office have been entrusted with the role of ward secretaries.
In recent days, manpower crunch has been a common problem for the local bodies in Rolpa. Representatives are tired of requesting the authorities for sending enough staffers yet the government has not provided staffers even when the current fiscal year is about to end. "There were no secretaries in wards 1, 3 and 5 because of which we had to assign the AHWs to carry out the administrative works as secretaries," said Nanda Bahadur Pun, chairperson of Madi.
Local governments have not been able to perform their jobs properly due to labor crunch but still the higher authorities have failed to solve this problem. "Carrying out development activities has become a challenge for us due to the lack of staffers," said Bir Bahadur Gharti, chairperson of Thabang Rural Municipality.
Local units started running out of civil servants as most staffers deployed by the government moved to other districts seeking transfer. Four of the total seven wards of Lungri Rural Municipality are operating without ward secretaries while two secretaries have already sought transfer. "Our local unit will be empty due to government employee adjustment," said Durga Bahadur Khadka, chairperson of Lungri.Rolpa Municipality, which is considered comparatively developed, is also dealing with manpower crunch. Two of its wards do not have secretaries. Similarly, Runtigadhi, Sunchahari, Sunil Smriti, Tribeni and Gangadev rural municipalities are also battling the same problem. There are some locals units where a single person is handling the responsibility of secretary for two wards.
Very few people in Rolpa opt for the civil service by appearing in the Public Service Commission (PSC) examinations. Chief District Officer (CDO) Ganjan Bahadur MC says the lack of interest in people towards PSC has also contributed to manpower crunch in the district. "A lot of workers don't prefer working in Rolpa as they still connect it with the decade-long armed conflict," said CDO MC, adding, "Not just that, people here do not have enough knowledge about the PSC."