Fund shortage halts construction of safe house for women and childrenThe project stopped receiving funds after the country was federated.
Four years ago, Kushma Municipality started constructing a safe house for orphans, domestic violence survivors and destitute people. The municipal office had bought an eight anna (254 sq m) land close to the Badagaon prison to build a Rs 15 million facility. The two-storey, eighteen-room building was supposed to be completed within one year.
But four years on, the project has seen little progress. Only the foundation and a couple of pillars have been built so far, and they are covered with overgrown vegetation.
The members of the construction committee say the project halted after the government stopped releasing funds after the country was federated.
“The project was being overseen by the District Women and Children’s Office. After federalism was adopted, we don’t know what happened to the office,” Loknath Acharya, chairman of the committee, said. “The local government elected in 2017 has also not issued the funds to complete the project.”
The erstwhile District Development Committee had pledged to provide Rs1.5million and provided only Rs 100,000. The project had also received Rs 300,000 and
Rs 100,000 from Kalpana Chapagain and Arjun Prasad Joshi, both assembly members of Gandaki Province.
“We have already spent the available funds on the project,” Acharya said. “The women and children’s office has also provided Rs 300,000, but we are not allowed to spend that sum until the safe house is complete.”
The committee has made several requests to the provincial government, lawmakers and ministers for funds. There has been no response so far, Acharya said.
“The structure that we have built so far will be of no use because it has been exposed to the elements for far too long. If we get the funds to resume the project, we will have to dismantle the current structure and start anew.”