Red Cross officials left alone despite rampant irregularities

January 12, 2017 01:20 AM , Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHA, Jan 12: Although Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in Dolakha chapter has been found indulging in rampant irregularities, no action has been taken against the humanitarian organization which 'works to relieve human suffering during disasters and emergencies'.

After discovering extreme irregularities in the NGO's projects, locals of Dolakha had padlocked its office in June. They had also reported the irregularities to the District Administrative Office (DAO), Dolakha, central office of the Red Cross, and to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

Following the complaints, the central office of Red Cross had sent an investigation team led by its central member Bishnuraj Nepal. The team had stayed in Dolakha for a week and concluded that its Dolakha chapter was indeed indulged in severe irregularities. 

Nepal then submitted a report to NRCS Chairman Sanjeev Thapa, recommending him to take action against those involved in the irregularities. But the report was left to gather dust in Thapa's office for six months, according a source at the NRCS central office.

Red Cross brought projects worth millions of rupees to the district immediately after the catastrophic earthquake of April 2015. However, much to the dismay of the locals, the Red Cross officials indulged in rampant irregularities in each of the projects. More than working to provide reliefs and aid in the reconstruction efforts, officials of the NRCS strayed away from its objectives and spent millions in luxuries instead.

In one instance, a bill showed that a Bolero jeep worth Rs 1.9 million was purchased. But, a second-hand van was purchased for Rs 1.2 million instead of the jeep. Likewise, the organization has also spent millions in laptops, computers, photocopy machines and other 'office necessities', according to the report.

According to a source, 30 social mobilizers were deployed for Safe Building Construction Project in 10 VDCs of the district. “Although they received only Rs 8,000 as salary, they were made to sign receipt of Rs 10,000,” said a source.

But Chairman Thapa continued the projects in Dolakha after showing the donors that the district's chairperson Tika Narayan Pradhan has been sacked from the post. Nepal claimed that some of the recommendations in his report remained unimplemented.

According to a source at the NRCS, irregularities have become easy due to slack monitoring from its central office.

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