BHAIRAHAWA, June 25: The locals of Marchwar, a remote village in Rupandehi district, are compelled to struggle even for minor land-related works. It has been around four months since these people have not been able to get done any work related to land registration, release of bank collateral, obtaining records and property division, among others, at the local Land Revenue Office (LRO).
A lot of files submitted by the locals have piled up at the LRO, Marchwar. The lack of enough manpower at the LRO is the reason behind all these problems. Shanta Ghimire, a non-gazetted officer at the LRO, laments that the manpower crunch has made it difficult for them to carry out even the day-to-day work. "Currently, there are three staffers in the office including me. We are trying to do what is possible but can't do everything," said Ghimire.
As early as a few months ago, even land registration was not possible as there were only two staffers at the LRO. According to the rule, at least three staffers are required to sign the documents related to land registration. However, the work resumed from Sunday after the appointment of one more staffer.
"We have repeatedly urged the authorities concerned to send enough staffers but in vain. People come and vent their frustration on us but we can't do their work as we don't have the authority," laments Ghimire. According to her, the staffers quit the LRO after being unable to bear the pressure from junior lawyers (Lekhandas), Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), locals and brokers.
Ghimire told Republica that the junior lawyers themselves force the staffers to do illegal works due to which they hardly sustain for a week. Radheshyam Basyal was the chief of the office in the beginning. Later, the post was handed over to Ishwar Chandra Aryal and Bam Lal Bhandari, respectively.
After them another officer Manohar Panthi was appointed to the post but he arranged his transfer to another place. Following that, Raja Rajeshwar Trivedi was appointed to the post but he went our of contact after coming to the office for three days. Since then, the office has been operating with two permanent staffers and five helpers appointed on contract.
Of the two branches that the LRO has, the one in Butwal has been doing quite well. The lack of proper transportation facility, remoteness, interference by the junior lawyers, unwanted inspection by CIAA in Marchwar have compelled the staffers to seek transfers.
The locals of Kotahi Mai, Marchwari, Sammarimai and Mayadevi rural municipalities and Lumbini Sanskritik Municipality visit the LRO, Marchwar, for various land-related works.
Staffers unpaid for four months
It has been four months since the staffers of the LRO, Marchwar, have not received their salaries. Some 17 positions are lying vacant at the LRO and there are only seven staffers (five on contract) there at present. As there is no chief of the office, administrative work has come to a complete halt.