DANG, Feb 9: After the formation of new local units under the federal structure, the District Coordination Committee (DCC) of Dang transferred government staff to various local units in July as per the need. Three engineers were deployed to Lamahi Municipality by the DCC as per the requirement of the metropolis. However, after working there for six months, the municipality sent them back. They were told that the municipality no longer requires their services.
The irresponsible steps taken by the newly formed local government has drawn widespread criticism from the locals in Dang. When asked about their accomplishments, elected representatives often cite labor crunch as a major reason for the delay in projects and implementation of their plans. But the return of these three engineers has raised questions. Some have even accused the representatives of deceiving locals despite having enough manpower.
The engineers and the municipality office have given conflicting statements behind their return. According to the municipality officials, the engineers wanted to work as per the previous setup which was not possible. On the other hand, the engineers claimed that they couldn't work independently as the municipal office pressurized them to work in the interest of some particular groups. Officials of the municipality claim that the engineers refused work despite making several pledges.
But the engineers deny such accusations. "Yes, I was ill due to which I was absent for some days," said engineer Tham Prasad Pandey, adding, "But there were a lot of other staff who have been doing our jobs due to which we were jobless."
Political meddling has also played a vital role in management of staff. According to political experts, people's representatives always prioritize staff on the basis of their party affiliation. This, in turn, has delayed the appointment of staff. Few months ago, Tulsipur Sub-metropolis demanded for ward secretary. It received a secretary but in the last seven months, four ward secretaries have been changed. As per the speculation of the people, secretaries were changed due to differences in their political ideologies.
Since the last few months, three staff of an NGO have been working at Ghorahi Sub-metropolis. They have been provided with all the facilities and privileges of government officers. They had come here as a part of a program conducted by an NGO which has already been completed. But they are still working in the office.
"As per the provision of the government, staff must be appointed after a meeting of the executive body. However, that has not been practiced here," said one of the officers of the sub-metropolis.
Similarly, the monopoly of elected representatives of Tulsipur Sub-metropolis while appointing staff has also courted controversy. Around two dozen staff have been appointed by the sub-metropolis without the approval and knowledge of the executive body.
The district-level Staff Management Committee has assured to solve the problems of labor management soon. "We will be managing staff in all the offices within the next few days," said Chief District Officer Gajendra Bahadur Shrestha.