Corruption is thriving in Province 5, watchdog officials sayA study conducted by the CIAA this year states most of the corruption takes place during the implementation of infrastructure projects.
On December 26, two security personnel from Bishnupura Armed Police Base Camp—chief of the camp Inspector Tej Bahadur Jora and Assistant Head Constable Birendra Prasad Chaudhary—were caught red-handed while taking a bribe of Rs6,000. It was revealed later that they had agreed to assist in the ferrying of daily essentials from Sagarahawa in Gaidahawa Rural Municipality. The Commission for the Abuse of Authority in Rupandehi is currently investigating their involvement in the case.
This fiscal year, police have made red-handed arrests of six security personnel in Province 5 on various charges, including smuggling of riverbed materials and timber, and exempting tax. This calendar year, a total of 35 individuals have been implicated in 21 incidents of bribing across the province. The number is a rise from 27 arrests last year. The arrested individuals include officials at district courts, a local representative and a teacher, among others.
Suresh Bhusal, information officer at the CIAA office in Butwal, said most of the complaints of abuse of authority are related to corruption in infrastructure projects and education sector in the local units.
A study conducted by the CIAA this year states most of the corruption takes place during the implementation of infrastructure projects. The main challenge in controlling corruption is the political clout that protects officials of all rungs, the report states.
Taranath Adhikari, chief of CIAA Butwal, said that his office has been receiving a large number of complaints regarding corruption. “It seems the people are becoming more aware,” he said. “They know that those who ask for money to get things done need to be reported to the authority. On the other hand, the rising number of irregularities in local levels shows how corruption is being institutionalised.”
Mahendra Prasad Pandey, chief of the Group of Transparency Stakeholder in Butwal, said that drives to curb corruption have seen little success in the province.
“There is a layer between service seekers and government officials. One needs to navigate through that layer to get things done,” Pandey said. “This is why irregularities and corruption are becoming widespread and institutionalised.”