By PR Pradhan
If not forgotten, immediately after promulgation of the present constitution, the then Maoist supremo Pushpakamal Dahal had expressed his happiness saying, “Now, Singhadurwar will reach to all the villages”. Considering the report on corruption and abuse of authority by the local authorities, it seems, Dahal’s dream to reach Singhadurwar from Kathmandu to the villages has come true.
Singhadurwar is not only the power center but the place is also considered as the center for abusing authority and practicing corruption and commission in a planned manner by those political leaders in power and high-ranking bureaucrats. Along with reaching Singhadurwar in all towns and villages, corruption centralized in Singhadurwas has also reached to all the towns and villages.
The Auditor General’s Office is conducting audit of the local bodies. In the process of audit, the Office has found rampant corruption and abuse of authority by the local authorities.
Some examples of corruption and abuse of authority have been reported by the Naya Patrika vernacular daily. They are:
A ten member team of the Mithila Municipality is found sharing 30 thousand rupees each as allowance while monitoring Vitamin A consumption campaign launched for two days in town.
In the previous fiscal year, the Municipality mayor and members are found receiving 2 million 62 thousand rupees as meeting allowance.
The Municipality is found spending 171 thousand rupees while extending congratulations to the newly elected leaders from the district to the post of MPs, ministers.
The municipality has spent 855 thousand rupees as fuel expenditure. Private vehicles belonging to the relatives of the Municipality executives also enjoyed free fuel from the Municipality.
The Municipality is found spending 3 million 791 thousand rupees on tiffin for the office bearers and guests.
The Municipality distributed five hundred thousand rupees each to the 11 Wards. The fund was directly received by the ward chairmen. They, instead of spending the fund in administration works, have submitted the fuel bill worth eight hundred thousand rupees.
The mayor and deputy mayor and other office bearers of the Fungling Municipality in Taplejung are found taking more allowances than the allowed amount by the Province Law. The Municipality has spent 1.5 million rupees as meeting, transportation and travel allowances. In the name of project inspection also, the municipality has spent the fund, however, which projects they had inspected, it has not been mentioned.
Mayor Chhatrapati Pyakurel has given three hundred thousand rupees to local Kumar Maden by appointing him as the advisor. As per the regulation, the local body can assign only those staffers approved by the higher authority. The local bodies cannot assign anybody on their own. Besides, the mayor has received nine hundred thousand rupees for maintenance of his private house. Furthermore, the mayor has appointed his sister-in-law as the office assistant. In fact, she is cook at mayor’s house. He has appointed son of his sister-in-law as the assistant.
Deputy mayor Bom Bahadur Bhattarai has appointed his wife as the cook in his house. His wife receives 16 thousand rupees per month as salary.
The above are some examples only. The local bodies are found misusing the fund even constructing Churches in the name of infrastructure development. There is seen competition in purchasing luxury vehicles in almost all municipalities. Some municipalities, without having motorable road, also have purchased vehicles.
Not an odd, in Singhadurwar, the peoples representatives are engaged in billion level commission projects, for instance, the above 4 billion commission deal on wide body aircraft purchase, whereas, at the province governments and local governments the commission and corruption amount has declined to the million level.
The beauty of the present loktantra is “for the leaders, of the leaders and by the leaders” whether it is at the local level or at the province level and or at the central level.