MAHOTTARI, July 11:Local Development Officer (LDO) Yuwak Raj Paudel of Mahottari District Coordination Committee (DCC) has not attended his office since a week. Although in other days, service seekers and politicians used to fill his office, currently his office desk has gathered dust and the chair always remains empty.
With the current fiscal year coming to an end, LDO Paudel is now busy releasing funds of various projects in the district before all the unspent and surplus budget freezes, according to employees at the DCC. Disregarding the plights of service seekers, Paudel is currently at his private residence at Jaleshwar amid tight security, busy putting signatures at checks to release funds. He has been accepting hefty commissions from various political parties and non-governmental organizations to release the funds.
According to a highly reliable source, LDO Poudel and DCC accountant Prahalad Bhujel recently approved a multi-million project by pocketing 35 percent commission off it. Following the agreement, LDO Paudel finally signed a check to release the budget, the source claimed.
As the current fiscal year is coming to an end, many locals have been visiting his office to demand progress of various projects in the current fiscal year. After disputes with information seekers increased, LDO Paudel has remained absent from his workplace to avoid disputes with irate locals, according to an employee at the DCC.
With the fiscal year coming to an end, LDO Poudel has signed checks to release funds for transportation improvement project worth Rs 30 million, bridge and road construction project worth Rs 10 million, rural electricity project worth Rs 10 million, suspension bridge construction over 31 major rivers of the district, border area hardware program operation project worth almost Rs 10 million, inter-district road connection projects, rural road projects, cleanliness projects, drinking water projects, irrigation projects, among other projects while staying at his private residence and various hotels of Bardibas.
According to locals, DCC officials have pocketed huge funds by being involved in financial irregularities. They said the DCC has recently approved over 500 big and small projects altogether worth more than Rs 500 million at the last moment. Locals also sought details from various NGOs and political parties about the projects. However, none of them showed willingness to be transparent, resulting in big disputes inside the DCC office.
“It is a great misfortune for the district to have LDO approving projects and releasing funds while staying inside private hotels and pocketing hefty commissions,” said Ram Naresh Raya, chairman of Mahottari chapter of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN).