KATHMANDU, June 15: While millions of people displaced by the Gorkha earthquake of 2015 continue to live in makeshift shelters, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) is planning to abandon a newly-constructed building inside Singha Durbar after a few ministry staffers complained that the prefab building is not airy enough.
The 22-room building in question was built spending Rs 20.2 million.
Following repeated complaints from some of its staffers, the Employment and Labor Division of MoLESS had sought permission from the authorities concerned to relocate the office having the Financial Administration Section, Law and Verdict Implementation Section, Migration Section, Logistics Section and SaMi (Safer Migration) Project. The cabinet has recently given permission to MoLESS to share the building housing the National Vigilance Center (NVC), a government watchdog against corruption, according to the Singhdurbar Secretariat Reconstruction Committee (SSRC).
Police inspectors at NVC expressed dismay over this decision of the government. "They are shifting their office to our building under the pretext of lack of ventilation in theirs," said the NVC police inspectors, "What did they build it for then?"The decision to abandon building has drawn criticism from within the ministry. Some MoLESS officials question the rationale behind abandoning 'a well-furnished' building just because of the heat.Some MoLESS officials, however, pretend that the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) has planned to shift some of its units to the prefab building of MoLESS. "The office is being shifted after an order from OPMCM to vacate the building for their purpose. Another reason for relocating it is that the rooms of the building are not enough for seven sections including Accounts," said joint-secretary Ram Prasad Ghimire of the Employment and Labor Division. "The accusation of lack of ventilation in the rooms is just for the sake of accusation."Arati Paudel, information officer at the SSRC, said that OPMCM has not planned to shift its sections to the building of the MoLESS. "Earlier, the OPMCM thought of doing so but now it has been cancelled," she added.