Budget crunch halts construction of integrated settlement in PyuthanThe local unit had announced that all the houses would be equipped with toilets, but that has not happened yet.
An integrated model settlement being built by Naubahini Rural Municipality in Pyuthan for the impoverished families has hit a roadblock due to a lack of budget.
The local unit had allocated Rs5million last fiscal year to build 22 houses for the families who cannot afford to build on their own. The decision was made in 2018 after the local unit deemed the impoverished families at Dandatol, in Ward No. 5, were at risk of landslide.
But only 16 houses have been constructed so far. While some of them are incomplete and many lack toilets, drinking water and roads. The construction work has ground to a halt due to budget constraint, said Yam Bahadur Sunar, chair of the consumers’ committee that oversees the construction.
The local unit has come under criticism from local leaders for opting to set up the settlement without conscious thought as the beneficiaries have not yet been granted land registration certificates.
“The heart of the local unit’s campaign might be at the right place, but it lacked proper planning,” said Min Raj Rana, secretary of the consumers’ committee. “The current budget crunch is a result of that.”
The local unit had announced that all the houses would be equipped with toilets, but that has not happened yet. “Severe budget shortfall has left many construction workers without wages,” Rana said. “We are unsure how the construction will move further.”
This has led to confusion and frustration among the locals. “The local unit promised us a home within a year,” said Chuman Sunar, a local. “But things are not moving as another rainy reason is round the corner.”
Thaneshwore Bhandari, chief administrative officer at the local unit, said that a total of Rs2.6million had been allocated for the project this year. “We are planning to estimate the required budget now and would pass it through a village assembly meeting soon.”
Meanwhile, Shiva Rijal, chair of the rural municipality, said that his office is yet to finalise the names of the beneficiaries. “We will finalise it soon and allocate further budget,” he said. “We are committed to handing over the houses by the end of this year.”