Karnali Province sees rise in corruption casesThe residents of the province have lodged several complaints with the anti-graft body.
Complaints against the local governments of Karnali Province at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) are surging in recent times. The residents of the province have lodged several complaints with the anti-graft body claiming that the local units were involved in irregularities while carrying out development projects.
The data available at the CIAA provincial office in Surkhet shows that 331 cases against the local units were filed in the first four months of the current fiscal year. “The cases against the local bodies and the people’s representatives have increased by about 24 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year compared to the last fiscal,” said Meghraj Sapkota, information officer at the CIAA provincial office.
Most of the complaints were on the inferior quality of development projects and the practice of disbursing payments to contractors before completing projects. Service seekers and consumers have filed cases demanding action against their representatives.
According to the CIAA office, multiple cases of irregularities were reported from Bheriganga, Junichande, Mahabu and Naumule local units of Karnali Province.
As per the data available at the office of the anti-corruption watchdog, 75 such cases were filed in Dailekh and 45 in Surkhet in the current fiscal year. The number of cases against the local government is 41 in Kalikot, 38 in Jajarkot, 29 in Jumla, 28 in Salyan, 27 in Humla, 27 in Rukum (West), 12 in Mugu and nine in Dolpa.
Shesh Narayan Paudel, chief at the CIAA provincial office, said most of the complaints filed against the people’s representatives were related to the substandard work of the local development projects and disbursement of fake bills.
“In some cases, the contract agreement was signed with the consumers’ committee and later sold to private contractors,” said Paudel.
Meanwhile, day-to-day administrative works and development activities have been hugely affected in several local bodies, as the elected representatives have to frequent the offices of the CIAA and other authorities to defend the allegations against them.
The accused people’s representatives claim that most of the cases were filed due to political reasons.
“The local leaders and activists of political parties have filed cases with the CIAA with the intent to hurt the party image of their rivals,” said Junga Bahadur Shahi, chairman of Mahabu Rural Municipality in Dailekh.