NEPALGUNJ, March 29: Lack of human resources and proper infrastructure has posed a great challenge in the implementation of local restructuring in the districts of the western region. These deficiencies have crippled the recently installed local bodies, including municipalities, rural municipalities and ward offices.
Rural municipalities in Kailali district have yet to elect their executive officers and bring in other key staff. Likewise, the local unit staff have yet to reach their respective ward offices. This has severely hampered the functioning of the local units.
“There is a severe shortage of human resources at the local units, and this is the main challenge in bringing the local units into operation. We are forced to carry out the work of three or four wards jointly in one office,” informed Chief District Officer Govinda Rijal, who is also local-level coordinator of the District Civil Servants Management Facilitation Committee, Kailali.
Although the committee coordinators have been given the authority to transfer civil servants, the civil servants themselves are unwilling to work from the ward offices, according to CDO Rijal. This is the main cause of the problem.
“Ward offices have been created by dividing up the VDCs. But service seekers are having a hard time due to lack of staff at the ward offices,” said Chandra Prakash Chaulagain, chairman of Kailali chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Ghodaghodi.
Kailali has one sub-metropolitan city, six municipalities and six rural municipalities. All the local units are facing the problems of infrastructure and shortage of human resources. Local Development Officer Keshav Prasad Bimi said there is a shortage of engineers, computer operators and technicians at most of the local units.
A staff of three or four is needed for one ward office. Rural municipalities need almost the same number of staff as a municipality. Due to the acute shortage of staff, CDO Rijal said they are preparing to depute personnel from the district-based offices.
Not only do the local units face a lack of human resources, service seekers also have been left in confusion following the operationalization of the local units.
For example, Dev Ram Mahara of Dasharath Chand Municipality-6 reached the municipality offices on Monday to make out a citizenship recommendation for his son. However, he was told that he could get the recommendation only from the ward office.
“We are facing a lot of difficulties because we don’t know which units offer which services,” said Mahara. Like him, many other service seekers have had to be referred to other local units.
Municipality Information Officer Binod Chand said the reshuffle in responsibilities following the advent of the local units has created confusion among the service seekers.
The locations of the centers for the local units are still being disputed. Locals of Chaukuney Rural Municipality have been protesting as its center has been established in Gutu VDC.