JANAKPUR, July 2: Many village development committees (VDCs) in Dhanusa district were merged and declared as municipality despite not meeting the minimum required criteria. Locals had hoped that the declaration would open many prospects for development.
However, they are left largely disappointed as development works carried out by their local administrative bodies have been largely futile.
Sabela, Satosar, Thilla, Yaduwa and Makhanaha among other municipalities still do not have proper road access. Although these municipalities were formed to speed up the development works, local bodies have been complaining lack of budget as hindrance to development. However, locals claimed that authorities are openly misusing development budgets.
According to Chandra Shekhar Sharma, executive officer of Sabela Municipality, the government and various other groups had collectively allocated Rs 3.6 million budget for blacktopping a six-meter wide road that connects the main market to Madan Ashrit Lower Secondary School in the municipality.
Heavy vehicles ply on the road section continuously. It is believed that at least eight inches thick blacktopping is needed to accommodate such vehicles. However, only four inches blacktopping has being carried out under the project, which has prompted many to criticize the project saying it is a total waste of budget.
Roshan Yadav, district leader of CPN-Maoist Center expressed dissatisfaction over the progress. “First of all, this is a wrong project to be selected and there has been misuse of budget. It would not be sustainable. However, as the project has already been selected, it cannot be reverted now,” he said.
Likewise, executive officer Sharma said, “As the project was selected during the tenure of previous executive officer, I cannot do anything about it now.”
Meanwhile, Guru Subedi of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development said they would monitor and correct the project at the earliest. “At least eight inches thick blacktopping is needed even for normal roads. We are surprised to hear that only four inches of blacktopping has been done. We will conduct monitoring at the earliest and make correction,” he said.