KHOTANG, June 6: Until a year ago, political party leaders were wandering through the villages and cities with their election agendas. In order to bring voters on their side, they reached the doorsteps of the locals with their best agenda.
It's been a year since they assumed office and took charge of the local units. But the elected representatives have not been able accomplish much in this one year period. This has compelled the voters to express their disappointment toward them and their sluggish work.
"Maybe, they are having problem in understanding their roles and responsibilities," said Ramesh Rai, a local of Khotehang Rural Municipality-9, adding, "The excitement and hope that the locals had a year ago have evaporated now." According to him, sluggish work of people's representatives is the reason behind the fading hope of the locals.
After the federal restructuring, there are currently two municipalities and eight rural municipalities in Khotang. As the local elections were held after a long time, there was huge expectation for change and development among the locals. But nothing turned out to as expected by the people. It seems like the people will still have to wait for a long time for experiencing change.
According to the locals, the elected representatives tried everything possible to woo them during the elections but they stopped putting efforts to impress them after winning the election. "We don't know if it's because they are still in learning phase or the representatives are actually putting no efforts to fulfill their promises," said Rai.
Bringing 'Singha Durbar' to villages still seems like a far-fetched dream. Bobi Chamling, chief of the District Coordination Committee (DCC), Khotang, said that the local units are trying their best to bring change and development but they have not been successful in doing so in the right way. "Representatives are doing their part but they have not been able to bring satisfactory results as they are still in learning phase," said Chamling.
It is the first time that the representatives have been working under federal setup because of which most of them are still in confusion over the rules and policies. According to former Chief District Officer Bishnu Kumar Rai, local government has failed to bring new practices. "Representatives seem more concerned about using and distributing budget rather than formulating policies and plans. It's really disappointing," Chamling said.
Former parliamentarian Durga Jayanti Rai says that the elected representatives have been making enough efforts for the development of physical infrastructures but they are lagging behind in developing their capabilities. According to her, most of the representatives are yet to understand the rights and authorities of the local government. But still, locals are keeping their hopes high that the situation will change within some years.
Mayor of Halesi Tuwachung, Iwan Rai, states that it will at least take five years to analyze the result of the work performed by the local government.