Diktel residents frustrated with their representatives’ serviceLocals complain of local government’s indifference while entrepreneurs lament the dip in business.
Dusty roads peppered with construction material and hoarding boards and mismanaged parking have become a common sight in Diktel, Khotang’s district headquarters.
Diktel locals complain pollution levels have increased with the appointment of local governments and the authorities have failed to solve the problems.
“Years after the formation of local government, Diktel has become all the more polluted, with mismanaged hoardings, construction material and parking defacing the city,” said Khus Narayan Sainju, chair of Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Khotang. “What’s more worrying is the government doesn’t have any plan to solve it.”
Diktel recently launched a project to supply the city with drinking water, with financial contribution from the government and consumer’s committee. The project, being constructed with an investment of Rs 225.55 million, aims to provide for a total of 149 households in Diktel, Solma and Bamrang. But still, the locals complain of the slow pace of the construction.
Meanwhile, Upin Kumar Rai, chair of Khotang Udhyog Banijya Sangh, said Diktel’s business is on the decline. “Since the election of local units, about 50 percent of business is down,” he said.
Samudra Prasad Joshi, coordinator of Hotel Entrepreneur’s Association, Khotang, said the occupancy of hotels is also on the downward slope, by almost 50 percent. “The condition of small-scale hotels is even more critical,” he said. Diktel has about 150 hotels.
Rajan Acharya, coordinator of Retailers’ Association, has similar complaints. “The decentralisation of administration means fewer people are visiting the headquarters which has given way to a sudden decrease in business,” he said. “Many retailers are struggling to make a living.”
Khus Narayan said that remittance transaction has also declined, owing to the establishment of banks in the villages.
Rai said that even though local levels have focussed on tourism programmes to attract more tourists, the effort has fallen flat. “The roads are polluted and the infrastructure leaves one wanting,” he said. “Given this condition, attracting more tourists remains a fanciful idea.”
Even though the Diktel Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality has floated a plan to manage the tourist destinations such as Majhuwagadhi, Bhulbule and Rupakot, the plan is yet to materialise.