Print Edition - 2014-12-06  |  Nation

Party politics, dispute affecting dev projects

- KASHIRAM DANGI, Rolpa
Party politics, dispute affecting dev projects

Dec 5, 2014-The projects initiated by the government to develop Holeri as a religious and tourism centre of the district have been adversely affected by constant bickering among the political parties in the district.

The tourism ministry and the District Development Committee (DDC) have been spending millions every year on various development projects in the region. The DDC has initiated various infrastructure development projects in Holeri under the Unified Holeri Development Project (UHDP) while the tourism ministry has spent millions by directly sending the budget for the development of Gadhilek and Runti areas. However, after the projects failed to take shape as expected, the DDC has massively curtailed its budget.

According to Rishiram Shrestha, founding coordinator of UHDP, political meddling was the major impediment in the advancement of the development projects meant for Holeri.

“The undeclared policy of political parties not to assist or support each other is the root of the problem,” said Shrestha, who has been active in the development of Gadhilek through an NGO.

The mutual distrust and animosity between the three major parties—Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, and UCPN-Maoists—have had a direct bearing on the projects. The representatives of the parties have made it their undeclared policy to change the members of the consumer’s committee annually. While Rishiram Shrestha of NC was the coordinator of the UHDP initiated by the DDC in the year 2012, Krishna Bahadur Chand of CPN-UML took over the responsibility the following year. The project is currently being coordinated by Tara Bahadur Dangi of UCPN-Maoists.

Stating that the development projects could move forward only if the political parties worked hand-in-hand without any kind of political bias, local teacher Mahendra Rokka said that it has become a trend among the parties not to help each other.

“The government has spent at least Rs 5 million on various projects in Holeri through the DDC and the tourism ministry. And if the budget spent by VDCs, Irrigation projects, Division Road Office and others are taken into consideration, the amount will be much higher,” said DDC spokesperson, Ram Kumar Neupane.

The projects under UHDP alone comprises of construction of Martyr’s Memorial Gate at Holeri, conservation and development of Gadhilek and Runti areas, construction of Holeri park, development of Shiva Parwati cave, Drinking Water Supply project, community irrigation project, and development of rural roads.

In the absence of directly elected representatives at the local bodies, the development projects have moved forward solely at the initiation of some civil society leaders, locals said.

Gopal Dangi, former chairperson of Sakhi VDC, said that the development projects meant for Holeri could not move forward as expected due to the lack of dedicated individuals and inadequate allocation of budget.

Published: 06-12-2014 08:34

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