NEPALGUNJ, August 12: The city dwellers of this oldest city in Western part of Nepal don´t have any dreams. If you don´t have dream, you keep the city worst and never move forward.
Nepalgunj comes in this category. Many new cities than Nepalgunj are moving with dreams of greenery and cleanliness. But Nepalgunj is basking under its past glory without doing anything.
"We´re the city dwellers of without any dream," says Ratna Khatri, under secretary of CPN-UML, Banke, "We´ve been surviving in a wrecked city."
Nepalgunj is a typical example of worst city. The roads are encroached. There´s no sewerage system to flush the excessive water. The roads are full of dirt and animals.
Nepalgunj Municipality office belongs largest number of sweepers. It´s largest budget goes for salary and office expenses.
"There are 15 sweepers in Hetauda, 45 in Pokhara, 25 in Butwal," says Nabin Sharma, joint secretary of CPN-Maoist. "Nepalgunj have 105 sweepers. But the city remains dirty."
Excessive numbers of staffers is the major obstacle for Nepalgunj Municipality. Even though, the political leaders of Nepalgunj are lagging behind of destaffing. Many people are enjoying the job without appearing in office. Even some people were spotted that they´re staying in Kathmandu and drawing salaries.
Young political leaders from political parties want to bring visible change in city. But they too are helpless and just waiting for Godot.
It´s almost a decade that the local government is running without elected representatives. The government staffs are the bosses. However, these staffs are not responsible and staying there doing nothing.
"I was representing municipality for some times as a political representative," says Prashanta Bista, city chairman of Nepali Congress. "I didn´t have any rights there and need to implement decisions by executive officer of municipality. He can fire unnecessary staffers, but he don´t want to move ahead."
According to Bista, Most of these staffers were appointed under the pressure from the leaders representing municipality. "Main culprit of the mismanagement by municipality headed by the government staff”rs," Bista stresses, "I´ll support that person who is ready to fire the excessive number of staffers, but no one is ready for t”is."
There are three factors which caused the mismanagement in Nepalgunj Municipality- unaware municipal administration, unvigilant people and staffers without convictions.
Municipality area is the glaring example of mismanagement. Even the court rulings are not according to the rule of law.
There´s a question of road expansion. The Kohalpur-Jamunaha road is a highway, according to highway act. It clearly states that the road should have 25 meters width from the centre of the road.
The local court gets four different petitions against the road demarcation. Two rulings were against 25 meters and two were in favor. Surprisingly, a house has been blocking the road expansion. The court gets a petition against the expansion and the court rules against 25 meters demarcation.
"Justice Ram Chandra Halwai and an influential businessman´s house were inside the road perimeter," Says Bista. "Due to these influential people the court decision was in favor of them."
Later two court rulings were in favor of road exposition. Because of these confusing rulings and mismanage the highway looks like a hell.
The basic standard of the road was always undermined and the municipal and road department offices never follow that. They´ve given permission to construct even in 21 meters perimeter of the road. Due to that many people constructed their houses encroaching the road.
"Main problem in Nepalgunj city is the indifference staffers of the government ageneies," says Dambar Bika ´Tufan´ of UCPN-Maoist. "The government agencies bowed downed under the influence of powerful people."
Now many people are ready to remove their houses from encroached road area. Again the powerful encroachers are threatening them not to do that.
However, the youth leaders from different political parties are ready to remove encroachment and expand the road area. They held an all party meeting on Friday and decided to remove encroachment but they´re seeking compensation for the houses which are going to be demolished.
"Without good understanding among political parties, there´s no chance of city development," adds Khatri. "Without addressing dissatisfaction among the people the city area development would be an uphill task."