JHAPA, August 30: Even two months after the election, newly-elected representatives of Jhapa are still uncertain about their roles and responsibilities. In the absence of any act or law to regulate the local bodies, the people's representatives are just roaming around to the utter disappointment of the voters whom they had made so many promises.
The people's representatives have urged the government to provide the local bodies with the rights and authorities as assured by the constitution. According to them, it has been difficult for them to formulate new plans and implement various projects in lack of laws.
“It has been about two months that we assumed our office but still we have not been able to commence our work,” said Jiwan Kumar Shrestha, chief of Bhadrapur Municipality, Jhapa. Though the representatives had planned to begin the work by forming various committees, recruiting staff and dividing roles but that could not happen as there is no guideline to regulate all of this.
Although the politicians had assured before the elections that the rights and authorities of Singha Durbar would now available at every villages, the newly elected representatives say that this is nothing more than a slogan. As the local representatives were elected after the hiatus of twenty years, people had expected a lot from them. They had dreamed of all the facilities which they could not attain in the past. But the sluggish moves of the local units have made them question whether they picked the right people or not.
Besides the laws, even the infrastructures, budget, manpower among other things are acting as hurdles for the representatives. As of now, mobilization of staff has been a common problem in all the local units. Kamala Acharya, deputy mayor of Arjundhara Municipality says, local representatives have been deprived of various rights and privileges in the absence of laws. Since their appointment, the elected representatives have not yet received salaries and neither allowances nor they have been able to exercise their power, says Acharya.
Dhruba Kumar Shivakoti, mayor of Birtamod Municipality, states, “Currently, we have been conducting day-to-day works of the office but have not stepped into major projects as we don't have guidelines and clear authority.”
Many victims reach their offices seeking justice on a daily basis. But the people's representatives have not been able to do so as they have no idea about dealing with such issues. As a result, victims are left with no other option than to follow the same process that they used to before the local level elections. The elected representatives admit that they are still not clear about the methods, processes and ways of handling various issues and implementing plans.