People walk through a road being widened in Rajedevi Municipality of Rautahat in this picture taken in June 2019. File Photo: Madan Thakur
LAHAN, JANAKPUR, BARA, July 5: Though the government vows to carry out development projects sensibly every year, the authorities are yet to take a break from their yearly routine of constructing and widening roads in a rush in Asar (mid-June to mid-July), the last month of the Nepali fiscal year. A number of such projects are underway in the Terai districts. Workers are seen extremely busy filling potholes and widening roads even amid rainfalls. Drainages and sewers are also being repaired overnight. Locals have slammed ‘this heavy misuse of budget’.
A road blacktopped in Bariyarpatti village of Siraha this time around last year is no more intact. The surface had started to wear off just in a few weeks. This road remained in a dilapidated condition for months; but now it has grabbed the authorities’ attention, in the last month of the fiscal year. While the road looks like a paddy field, the local government stated that it has Rs 2.5 million to repair this road. Soon, the road will look different, the officials said.
Under ‘heritages beautification project’, a pond located at Laliya of Mithila Bihari Municipality–5 was given a new look just a week ago. The fences and other decorations have already been damaged.
These are just a few cases of how the eleventh hour development spending popularly known as ‘Asare Bikash’ in Nepali, has ruined the country’s development process. Most of the consumers committees and local authorities, which take care of local projects, have drawn headlines for their controversial decisions and service delivery.
Just recently, locals at Janaknandi Rural Municipality took to the streets against a road repair. Citing low quality materials and the ill-timed graveling and blacktopping of the road, they demanded action against the responsible officials.
According to Shailendra Yadav, a provincial lawmaker of Province 2, development projects are not chosen haphazardly.
Photo caption: A road from Gargama to Kachanari in Siraha looks dilapidated in this recent photo. This road is being repaired at the cost of Rs 6.5 million.