At a time when there is a growing controversy over the implementation of projects, chief executive officer of Banepa Municipality MAHESH BARAL shares his views on various issues. Excerpts:
There is a rumor that only certain employees are given work responsibility. Is this because of pressures or employees’ interests?Some works done in the municipality may fulfill somebody’s interest. However, there are few instances where there may have been pressure and influence.
Even if few, these are irregularities. What is the reason behind this?One of the things we have to go through is the capacity of local bodes. There is no competition among the employees. This situation arises because the local bodies are left on the responsibility of employees.
Some say this is happening because an overwhelming number of staff are locals. What do you say?
Sometimes, it is impossible to take executive decision from the municipal office and I have to go to the CDO office. This situation is there. The time has come to appoint the municipal employees on the basis of competition.
How do you find the support of political parties?
Political mechanism is the most active in other areas. I have not seen much here. My experience is that when I talked about making a new planning, such as, handing over the landfill site to the private sector, there comes an objection. However, when I propose for travel and celebration, many agree. You must decide how much support I am getting from where.
Is not this a result of corrupt mentality of employees?
It is not a question of corrupt mentality but willingness to seek individual benefit. The issues are not development or planning but mobile bill, and money for petrol. This is a very bad practice. Along with criminalization of politics, the politicization of contractors and contract of politics are increasing. This is the problem of the country and Banepa Municipality is not an exception.
What actions have you taken to minimize them?
I don’t have any hesitation to accept the fact that I have not done anything but I am proud to say that I am able to prevent further damage. The situation is very difficult. From politics to other environment, I have to be careful.
Again, is this the result of an overwhelming domination by local employees?
I don’t want to blame the local employees for this. I have to accept the fact that one of the problems with municipalities is the local employees. All others get transfers but municipal employees remain in the same position. My experience of various districts is that there is the need to open competition in the selection process of local employees. Another important aspect is the elected representatives.
By SAROJ DAHAL