When the local bodies were elected in 2015, people expected official works to get easier. But it hasn’t gotten any easier for the folks of Dandapari village in Kavre district. For instance, to get a citizenship certificate, people there have to walk for two days to reach Dhulikhel, the district headquarter, and spend around Rs 10,000.
“We were promised that when people’s representatives took office, we could have our citizenships made in our village. But this promise has been broken,” says Manjit Tamang of Dandapari village in Khanikhola rural municipality, which is at a distance of 70 kilometers from the district headquarter in Dhulikhel.
Tamang says it took him altogether five days to get the citizenship of his son. “I had to take out a loan of Rs 10,000, which is all spent now. It does not matter who assumes power, we, the poor citizens, have to suffer,” he laments.
Taldhunga’s Mohan Prasad Timilsina crossed four districts and spent Rs 9,000 for his son’s citizenship. “To get to the headquarters, one needs to walk through the dense Mahabharat forest,” he says. “I am old and cannot walk on treacherous paths. That is why I took a detour via Makwanpur, Dhading, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts to get to Dhulikhel.”
He cannot understand why people have to face such hardships to get a piece of paper. Dandapari residents complain that all local office-bearers live in far-off district headquarters.
Khanikhola rural municipality chairman Krishna Bahadur Khulal says locals have no option but to travel to the headquarters as there are no banking facilities for effective functioning of local bodies close by.
Mahabharat rural municipality chairman Kanchaman Jimba rues how the central government has shown no interest in the operation of the area administration office. (A few years ago, the home ministry had set up an area administration office in Ghartichap VDC to serve a dozen VDCs in the vicinity.) “The local government can only provide land for the concerned offices. It is the central and provincial governments that should provide physical infrastructure and staff,” Jimba adds.
Chief District Officer Krishna Bahadur Raut assures that he is working on it.