Technicians collecting up to 10 percent commission per project
July 12, 2017 04:30 AM NPT
By: Janak KC
JAJARKOT, JULY 11: The technicians at the District Technical Committee in Jajarkot are said to have been taking a commission of three to 10 percent from every project they approve. Local consumer groups have been forced to pay the amount demanded by district engineer Surya Bahadur Shahi.
According to the consumers, the commission is paid either during project agreement or the final payment to the project.
Chairman of Jhapa's Machaina Road Project Construction Consumer Group, Nar Bahadur Bali said that the technicians take Rs 110,000 while agreeing on a project saying it is needed to cover up their costs. Another chairperson of Gopi Khola Dhulakot Irrigation Project consumer group, Dhan Bahadur Shahi said that the accountant and technicians at the District Technical Office demanded Rs 200,000, halting the final payment for eight days.
Similarly, consumer groups in Lahane Kulo Irrigation Project and Pahira to Tapta Irrigation Project of Majakot face the same problem. The secretary of the Lahane Kulo Irrigation Project Consumers Group, Mun Bahadur Shahi said that the technicians demanded Rs 150,000 as the first installment and have halted the final payment of Rs 5.9 million projects. The chairperson of the Pahira to Tapta Irrigation Project Consumers Group, Lok Bahadur Budha said that their files gather dust in the office, if they do not pay ten percent commission demanded by the engineer.
According to the consumers, the accountants and technicians use different means while bargaining for their commission. The concerning stakeholders say the District Technical Office makes the final bill of the village development projects without even completing it properly. Bal Kumar Sharma, a good governance activist, said that some consumers blindly provide the amount demanded by the technicians while others reject it. Sharma said that three percent from suspension bridges, six percent from irrigation projects and ten percent commission are accumulated from road projects.
A local leader Rajendra Bikram Shah said that unfortunately even after political and local level changes there are still these kinds of irregularities. He blamed both the consumer groups and the officials at the District Technical Office for not completing the development projects as per the set standards.
However, Shahi, the chief engineer, says that there have been no illegal dealings in the projects which might take some time to complete due to some rules and regulations. “The allegations that we take commissions are false,” he claimed.
Local Development Officer Rudra Prasad Pandit said that action will be taken against those who take commission from the consumer groups.
Pandit said that officials and local representatives, from the District Coordination Committee, sent to monitor the status of these projects have not yet submitted their report. “The technical officials of the District Technical Office are still in the villages monitoring the projects and have not sent any feedback,” he said.