SINDHULI, Oct 28: The misuse of government vehicles has emerged as a major concern with more local representatives and leaders using the government resources for their personal affairs even on public holidays.
Stating that the representatives have to travel a lot for performing various kinds of development works, local governments spent millions to purchase vehicles. However, the local representatives are found misusing the vehicles provided to them for official work.
Nine local units in the district -- two municipalities and seven rural municipalities -- have bought new vehicles for the local representatives.
While the chiefs of these local units ride expensive vehicles, even the ward chiefs ride expensive motorbikes. A few days ago, a government motorcycle (Ja 1Ba 581) was seen on the premises of a hotel till late night. One of the staffers of the local unit had gone there for dinner.
Legally, local representative are not allowed to use government vehicles for any purposes other than official work. It is mandatory for all to seek permission from the Chief District Officer if they want to use the vehicle for any other purpose. However, the vehicles have been rampantly misused for carrying the family members of the representatives.
A few months ago, Dudhauli Municipality had purchased 14 motorbikes for the ward chiefs. Though the objective of buying the vehicles was to perform the official work effectively, in reality, they are being used for the vested interest of the representatives.
"We had bought some 220 CC pulsar motorcycles and a few 150 CC bikes for the ward chiefs," said Paniraj Banjan, chairperson of Marin Rural Municipality, adding, "We wanted them to do everything quickly and effectively for which vehicles were essential." Likewise, Sunkoshi and Tinpatan municipalities too provided vehicles to their members.
Some representatives cannot ride the motorbikes on their own. Hence, they allow their relatives to misuse them. CDO Gyan Prasad Dhakal said, "It is wrong to use government vehicles for personal use." He also admitted that he has not been able to stop the representatives from misusing the vehicles on public holidays.
"The chiefs of all local units don't find it necessary to seek permission from us and instead do as per their will," CDO Dhakal added. According to him, stern action will be taken against those found abusing or misusing government property from now onward. Though the staffers don't hesitate to seek permission, those in chief posts are clearly found neglecting the rule despite being aware.
"There was a time when the leaders and representatives used to strictly warn us for not misusing the government vehicles. Now they cannot do so as they themselves are found doing so," said one of the officials seeking anonymity. He added that the representatives were found misusing the vehicles widely during Dashain. They used the vehicles for going to their relatives and dropping their family members.