TIKAPUR, July 25: In view of the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections, a large number of people are seeking citizenship in Kailali district.
According to Tikapur Area Administration Office, on an average 125 to 150 individuals are getting citizenship from the office daily. Officials attribute this to the upcoming elections and SEE exam. Citizenship is mandatory to get registered with the Election Commission's voter roll.
Currently, the election body is conducting nationwide voter registration campaign before allowing them to cast votes in the provincial and central parliamentary elections scheduled for October and November respectively.
The service seekers are staying in long queues but lack of staff in the office has forced the service seekers return empty handed many a times.
The office provided 12,473 citizenship certificates out of which 10,999 were new and 1,469 were copies. In the previous fiscal year, the office provided citizenships to 855 indigenous people, 377 Dalits and 2 Madhesis.
There is one chief officer working alongside nine other employees in the office. The positions of a deputy secretary, three non gazetted officers and one assistant accountant are currently vacant. Only one officer alongside two non gazetted officers are working in the office helping more than 300,000 service seekers.
Basanta Bohora, chief officer at the Area Administration Office, said, "We are providing this service to nearly 45 percent of the population but the employee to people ratio is very low. I have been here for seven years and have not had any other duties besides recommending citizenships."
The chief officer is currently acting as under-secretary in the absence of the concerned person. Even the non gazetted officers were acting as chief officers due to the chief officer acting as the under-secretary.