Misuse of government vehicles goes unchecked in Sudurpaschim ProvinceMany local representatives in Sudurpaschim Province have given their official vehicles to their family members and relatives to run personal and domestic errands.
Many local representatives in Sudurpaschim Province have given their official vehicles to their family members and relatives to run personal and domestic errands.
In Dadeldhura district, every local unit has procured expensive vehicles for its chairperson, deputy chairperson and ward chairpersons. But most of these vehicles are being misused, with the family members of elected officials using the vehicles for their personal use.
According to the records of two petrol stations in Amargadhi Municipality in the district, five of the seven local units spent Rs 60 million on fuel in the last two years. This amount is 17 times more than the criteria set by the local representatives.
“The local governments have provided official vehicles to the elected representatives holding important positions. But it is the families and relatives of these representatives who are enjoying the vehicle facility. They are treating the state-provided official vehicles as family vehicles,” said Nar Bahadur Saud, coordinator of Civil Society Kanchanpur.
The elected representatives in Achham district, which has 10 local units and 91 wards, have also been misusing their official vehicles.
The chairpersons of 83 wards have taken motorcycles for official use. But most of these two-wheelers are being used by their family members.
In Mangalsen Municipality, nine of the 14 ward chairpersons are using their official motorcycles non-official purpose.
Moreover, four ward chairpersons have taken official motorcycles even though they do not have driving credentials.
The municipality has also procured a motorcycle for the ward chairman of Mangalsain-13 where there is no road access.
“I am not sure who is riding the motorcycle that the municipal office had purchased for my official use,” said Prem Thapa, the ward chairman.
In Sanfebagar Municipality, the chairpersons of only four of the 14 wards—3, 7, 12 and 13—are using the government-provided motorcycles for official use. The other ward chairpersons have given their official motorcycles to their family members.
Misuse of official vehicles is also rife in Panchadev Binayak Municipality. The chairpersons of only five of the nine wards—2, 3, 5, 6 and 8—are using their official motorcycles for official purpose. The chairpersons of the remaining wards have kept the motorcycles at their homes for their family members to get around.
In Mallekh Rural Municipality, six of the eight ward chairpersons have taken official vehicles. Among them, only Khagendra Bahadur Saud, the chairperson of Ward 9, is using his office vehicle, while the rest have handed theirs to their family members.
“We had told the ward chairmen to take motorcycles only if they had driving licences. But even those who did not have licences took the motorcycles anyway,” said Lok Bahadur Bohara, the chairman of Mallekh Rural Municipality.
Though the district and provincial committees have been formed to monitor the misconducts and irregularities in local units, they have not been active in their duties so far. Authorities said they cannot initiate action unless someone registers a complaint at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority or other regulatory bodies.