Division Road Office of Gandaki Province operating without a proper office buildingCurrent employees have been compelled to carry out works from a single room.
The Division Road Office of Gandaki Province in Baglung is mandated to employ 37 officials. Currently, the office has one technician, two accountants, two administrative staff, four drivers (light vehicles), and four office assistants, and it has vacancies for one divisional engineer, six engineers, 15 sub engineers.
However, the office, formed in mid-March, does not have the infrastructure necessary to accommodate its staff. The officials operate out of a single room of the building of the Division Road Office in Baglung under the federal government.
Govinda Prasad Upadhayay, one of the accountants, said that they have not received any budget and programmes to run the office in the current fiscal year. “We don’t have any work to do here. Also, we only have one single room for us all to work out of,” he said.
There are two provincial-level division road offices in Gandaki Province. The condition of another Division Road Office of the province in Damauli is also similar.
The Division Road Office in Baglung has been established to overlook six districts, including four districts of the then Dhaulagiri zone. Whereas the Division Road Office of Damauli has been authorised to maintain and construct roads in remaining other districts of Gandaki Province.
“We don’t know why this office has been set up. The provincial government has kept us idle,” said Upadhayay, referring that they have been workless from the very first day of office set up.
There are 14 provincial-level division road offices established in the seven provinces, but the chief of the office is also the Division Chief at the central level. Rameshwor Lamsal, chief at the Division of Roads in the centre, said that the provincial government has established provincial road office but has not sent technical manpower in the office.
“The Division Infrastructure Office in Parbat of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development also works for the road construction. This office has interfered with the provincial road office,” said Lamsal. According to him, the Division Infrastructure Office has invited tender and assigned tenders of local road projects of four districts including Baglung.
As per the rule, it’s the federal government’s responsibility to overlook national highways and pride projects; the provincial government’s responsibility is to monitor strategic roads and roads connecting two districts; the local government’s responsibility to oversee rural roads. But, there’s no proper coordination between the three levels. “We are even confused as to the running of the subordinate offices,” said Lamsal.