Area Administration Office in Sorukot without a chief for the last three yearsFor lack of a chief, locals have to walk for two days to Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, to make citizenship certificate.
Administrative works of the Area Administration Office in Sorukot, Mugu, have come to a halt in the absence of its chief for the last three years. Because of the lack of a chief, locals have been compelled to walk for two days to Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, to make their citizenship certificate and to avail of other administrative works.
The office was established in Sorukot four years ago to make government services easily available for the locals of remote Natharpu, Photu, Jima, Bihi, Dhainakot, Puru, Muru, Sip, Nerataja and Sorukot among other settlements of the district.
Currently, the Area Administration Office is running with only two office assistants. “All we do is open the office in the morning and close it at the end of the day,” said Gorkha Malla, one of the office assistants, adding that they have no work to do as there are no employees in the office.
The locals say that the office has become severely affected since the departure of the last chief Dil Bahadur Paudel three years ago. Since the transfer of Paudel, the Ministry of Home Affairs has not sent another official to fill the vacant post. “We have to go to Gamgadhi to obtain a citizenship certificate,” said Dhirendra Bahadur Shahi, a local of Jadepani. He adds, “Political leaders had assured us of door-to-door services to make life easier for us during local-level elections. During those days, ‘Gaun Gaun Ma Singha Durbar’ (Singha Durbar in Every Village) was a popular slogan, but that never materialised. We have to go to the district headquarters for even minor services.”
Locals have been demanding the local government resume services from Sorukot or dissolve the office. Lok Bahadur Shahi, the chairperson of Soru Rural Municipality, said they have been requesting the federal government to deploy a new chief to resume the services. “If the office could distribute citizenship here, villagers wouldn’t have to travel a long distance and they could also feel the presence of local governance,” said Shahi.
There are four local units in the district, and residents of all the units have to go to Gamgadhi to obtain their citizenship certificates. According to the District Administration Office, they have not been able to provide services from the Area Administration Office due to lack of employees. Jaya Kumar Ghimire, chief district officer, said there are three posts of employees (an offer, a non-gazetted first-class officer and an accountant) available in the Area Administration Office. “But we don’t have adequate human resources to fill the vacant posts,” said Ghimire, accepting that people are facing problems to receive citizenship certificates and fill-up passport forms among other services. He adds, “We have been talking with the ministry about the problem.”