Gandaki government says development targets missed due to challengesOpposition says government failed to meet people’s expectations.
Although the government says that development work could not gather momentum as it had to “start from zero” due to lack of necessary laws, shortage of employees and difficulties in acquiring land, members of the opposition criticise the government for not meeting people’s expectations.
The first meeting of the Prithvi Subba Gurung-led Cabinet on February 6, 2018, announced that the government shall provide drinking water and electricity to all of the 578,000 households in 11 districts of the province, within two years. But the government has failed to achieve its target.
“Drinking water taps have been installed in around 50 percent of the households. Electrification is also going on in full swing,” said Minister for Physical Infrastructure Development Ram Sharan Basnet, who is also the spokesperson for the provincial government.
“The projects have been obviously delayed as we began from zero following the restructuring of the state and the formation of provincial governments,” said Basnet.
Progress in other planned projects such as the establishment of a provincial university, implementation of a programme to provide jobs to 50,000 people, the development of Manang, Mustang and Chumnubri (Gorkha) as film centres, and the establishment of an industrial village, a hospital and a playground in each local unit, has been slow.
Basnet, however, claimed that all incomplete projects will be completed within the tenure of the present government, which ends in three years. “Related laws have been already formulated for the establishment of Gandaki University,” said Basnet. However on the film centre project, he said, “It has been overshadowed by other projects now.”
Similarly, plans to establish industrial villages in all local units are also in limbo. The process of setting up such industrial villages has just begun in only five local bodies as far. “The government could not move the project forward as it could not procure land. We hope that the federal government will provide us land as it has promised to do so,” said spokesperson Basnet.
Kiran Gurung, minister for financial affairs and planning, however, has a list of 30 achievements of his government. The naming of the province and designation of its capital was the main achievement of the provincial government, said Gurung. He informed that his government also formed 154 new agencies and offices, formulated 32 pieces of provincial laws and six regulations.
Meanwhile, members of the opposition criticised the government for doing things of the people. “The provincial government failed to make the people feel any. It seems that the provincial government is just a unit of the federal government and not an autonomous government,” said Krishna Chandra Nepali, the parliamentary party leader of the main opposition Nepali Congress. He alleged that the federal government also did not do enough to facilitate development work in the province.