SURKHET, July 16: Big development projects in Surkhet district are treading troubled waters due to political disputes.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) had decided to construct a regional depot in Maidanchour of Chhinchu three years ago to facilitate distribution in the hill districts. It has also initiated the process for land procurement.
But NOC later decided to construct the depot elsewhere stating that the Chhinchu VDC demanded “unreasonably high” price for the land. The VDC had recommended Rs 370,000 per ropani for the land that was purchased by one Devendra Koirala at Rs 290,000 per ropani from the land owner. “Surkhet lost a big opportunity for development due to the unnecessary dispute over price of the land,” Koirala stated.
The dispute also affected Birendranagar Multiple Campus which was due to get Rs 160 million in grant from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“The campus has lost the grant as the management committee put political interest ahead of the interest of the campus,” lecturer of the management faculty Bir Bahadur Paudel stated. “The management committee is still busy in political bickering despite the threat of UGC´s threat of withdrawing the grant,” Paudel added.
Chairman of the management committee Bhushan Kumar Manandhar said political disputes have also affected appointment of a new campus chief for the past three months.
Medicinal Herbs Collection and Refining Center has become the latest victim of politicization. There has been political dispute in the Surkhet municipal development committee about allotting land to the center.
UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress argue that the municipality should provide land to the center jointly financed by the Ministry of Industry and chamber of commerce and industries while CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML argue that the public land cannot be provided for business purpose.
The political parties, however, argue that the real reason of disputes in development projects are over financial matters and are not purely political.