Municipality’s judiciary committee helping locals in social disputes

Published On: August 27, 2018 06:56 AM NPT By: Narhari Sapkota

GORKHA, Aug 27: Drinking water facility at the Ratna Rajya Secondary School of Gorkha is not good. Water taps at the school dispense dirty water. Few students bring water from home, but most rely on the same dirty water. 

Recently guardians decided to reach out to the municipality’s office seeking its intervention on the matter. They asked the officials to address the lack of drinking water at the school. When verbal plea did not seem to work, they left written complaint over the matter. Locals hope, the issue would be addressed, sooner than later. 

This case of drinking water at a school in Gorkha Municipality - 10 is just an example. According to the officials at the municipality, they are receiving complaints from locals on many social issues. The complaints continue to grow. 

“People are growingly showing concern over such issues. They come here to discuss water, electricity, road, communication and other such issues with us in hope of getting solutions. They have huge expectation from the local government,” said Deputy Mayor Beena Kumari Shrestha. “It could be due to both social awareness among people and extreme inconveniences they are facing,” she added.

The water in the school had become even dirtier of late due to mixing of mud at the source of the water. According to a locals, Indra Bahadur Khatri of Gorkha Municipality - 8 had thrown mud excavated from his housing near the source of water. The water source is at the base of the hill atop of which Khatri’s land plot sits. The debris from the excavation rolled down the hill and mixed into the water source, they informed. 
“In their written complaint, locals have asked to probe the matter and avail clean water for school and others through taps,” Shrestha said. “They have named Indra Bahadur Khatri of ward no 8 for polluting the water source. We have to investigate,” she added. 

Locals have filed complaint at Judicial Committee of the municipality which is tasked to look into such matters. “We have left complaint; let’s see how long they will take to solve it. But when written complaint is accepted, there is a hope, we can make them accountable,” remarked Sangita Thapa, a local. 

“Earlier there were no local representatives, or judicial committees to look after such cases,” she added. 
Shiva Kumar Shrestha of ward number 6 of the municipality is hopeful too. He is also waiting for the response of the municipality after filing complaint against poor drainage system of District Sports Committee. The office’s drainage system, he claims, has created a nuisance around his house. 

“The filth comes out of the drainage system and troubles people in the locality. But that’s a government office and there is no one taking care of it. So, we went to the judicial committee and filed complaint against them. We hope something would be done now, they were positive towards our complaint,” he said. 

Shiva Kumar reported that some cases that were similar to theirs have been solved by the municipality office. That is the reason why we are also positive about it. In his case, the municipality has already started working on it. It called a joint meeting of the officials of the District Sports Committee and the locals who filed the complained to find a solution to the situation. “They heard our complaints and acted on it. We are hopeful that they will fix the problem very soon,” Shiva Kumar said. 

According to Deputy Mayor Shrestha, divorce and property cases are also very common. Many people also come seeking personal documents for various purposes. “However, the crowd which comes for social causes is still the biggest,” she said. “Roads, irrigation, environment and even wildlife matters have caught attention of people,” she added. 

The municipality office has been looking into complaints on several public related matters including public land encroachment, elderly people care, and labors’ wages and so on. 

Deputy Mayor Shrestha claimed that the judiciary committee of Gorkha Municipality comparatively gets more number of complaints than other municipalities. “Though there is judicial committee in all local bodies, Gorkha Municipality is getting more complaints on such public issues, as per our knowledge,” she said. 
Judiciary committee is a big relief for locals. However, there are problems, according to Shrestha. The lack of skill and knowledge on the part of the officials and same on the part of locals make it difficult sometimes, she noted. 

“People expect that we solve all kinds of problems they come here with. But sometimes it is not practical. Sometimes, we lack the expertise. And in some cases, municipality office is not the competent authority to look into it. For instance, we can’t decide a divorce case, they have to go to the court for that,” she informed. 

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