Shaky political commitments behind deferred development
A file photo of workers constructing tunnel under Melamchi Drinking Water Project
Recently, the Prime Minister directed the ministers and secretaries to increase the capital expenditure to 80 percent. Expressing dissatisfaction over the negligible capital expenditure in the recent quarter of the fiscal year, he issued such directive during a meeting of the development problems resolution committee of the National Planning Commission.
Such directions are, however, normal as they are made in many meetings, to many bureaucrats and departments as usual. To remind one here, when Baburam Bhattarai was Prime Minister, he, in the same meeting of the National Planning Commission as the Chairman, had exclaimed what the baloney it was that the glossy paper reports on development projects showed progress in Karnali region, but the lives of the Karnali people was never changed.
On the one hand, Karnali region is still reeling under the poverty and paucity, it has been a mighty tag and a tool for some to ensure deep pocket as Baburam's observation of glossy paper report suggests.
However, commitment of our political parties and leaders for development is questionable. Those voicing for the development and economic prosperity during the reign are so emasculated after the change of government that they hardly talk, debate, discuss and strive for development. Interestingly, they assure the voters of development of infrastructures before every election, but only to guarantee their steps towards political ladder and leadership. They even do not conduct monitoring and follow up of the development initiatives their governments take.
Not only Karnali region but many parts of the country are plagued with paucity and poverty. A news report the other day read - a woman killed her two children and herself in the southern plains of the country owing to poverty. It is noted that poverty alleviation has been a continuous focus of Nepal's periodic plan since the fifth plan way back in the 70s.
As the political parties are the major drivers of the national affairs, they have direct responsibility to propel the national politics and economy. When the politics - that too the petty party politics - shadows economic affairs, the development discourse is obviously put in the backburner. To this, one of the most ludicrous debate Nepali political parties have not left fuelling for long is on nationality/nationalism. When the political parties find their roles subsided, the nationality/nationalism debate is flared up. It shows the development discourse is yet to develop among our political parties.
Moreover, Nepali political struggles have not been linked to economic prosperity and development. Despite several political struggles made for the freedom and rights, they have failed to link with development endeavours. The struggles and movements have resulted in change of system- the 2007 BS movement brought democracy; the 1990 people's movement restored democracy; and 2006 people's movement brought loktantra and abolished monarchy. Still, the voices for rights are rife.
Despite this, we cannot negate that all governments failed on initiating development projects. The development initiatives taken by government as early as the one led by BP Koirala were quite far-sighted. The construction of postal highway and mid-hill highway are not new projects. But, the royal coup of 1960 frustrated every development effort taken by leader BP Koirala. The sabotage of development continued till the restoration of democracy in 1990. The ditched development projects – mid-hill highway and postal highway are yet to be accomplished as of today.
Many are showing jubilation over the upcoming Dashain gift, as the government has claimed, - the Melamchi water in the Kathmandu Valley. How do they respond to when they know that this project bears a bitter reality- it is an example of deferred and deserted development. It was the saintly leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai to announce the ambitious Melamchi project in 1991, but it is getting materialized in 2017!
These examples are enough to prove that both party-less Panchayat system and the governments after 1990 are culpable for deferring and ditching development. The ministers and senior bureaucrats tainted with huge corruptions must have link somewhere with deferral of development. Also, the Maoist insurgency cannot be forgotten for it derailed not only democracy but also the development. In the recent years, the emergence of militant trade unionism being affiliated to various political parties have not only stifled bureaucratic affairs and clog-jammed public service delivery, but also hindered development activities.
Amid such, is it the conclusion that Nepal is in development deadlock? Has it not the guts to unlock development potential?
Various governments have forwarded the mega projects as of national pride projects and construction of cities along the mid-hill highway. In order to accomplish these on time and bring positive change in people's lives, the political willpower and cooperation among all political parties is imperative. The blame game must come to an end at least for economic prosperity. Importantly, development cannot be a political tool, but a measure to bring change. For it to happen, why not first develop development discourse among political parties? RSS
NRA website gives wrong information about rebuilt houses
The number of houses rebuilt after the earthquake uploaded in the official website of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) does not match the same data of the Ministry of Urban Development. The NRA, the government body formed to carry out reconstruction efforts after the Gorkha earthquake, is found giving wrong information about the number of houses rebuilt after the disaster.
EC to launch Local level Election Monitoring Directives-2017
The Election Commission (EC) is going to launch the Local level Election Monitoring Directives-2017 to streamline the monitoring of the local level election scheduled to be held May 14 this year. The Directives is currently being drafted and the Commission will launch it at the earliest, according to the Commission's Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma.
Priyanka Gandhi's daughter predicted to revive Congress
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's daughter Miraya will revive Congress party, senior Congress leader Janardhan Poojary claimed quoting a prophecy from Haridwar astrologer even as Congressmen are hoping that Priyanka will enter active politics to revive the sagging fortunes of the party. Miraya Vadra is the 14- year-old daughter of Priyanka and Robert.
UML late leader Devi's body kept at party office
The body of CPN-UML leader and lawmaker Dulari Devi has been kept at the party central office, Dhumrabarahi in the capital. She was injured in a road accident in Sitamadi of India on March 16 and was undergoing treatment in the Lalitpur-based B&B hospital. She breathed her last on Thursday night in course of treatment.
- Sit-in before administration demanding revision in Solukhumbu
We take pride in Sagarmatha and also Bhagwan Buddha. We should introspect as to what has been “our” contribution in the making of both. The tallest mountain landmark is the outcome of tectonic push against the bigger landmass creating the upward drift that created the Himalaya. Prince Siddhartha, on the other hand, was born 2556 years ago or 23 centuries before Nepal got unified under Prithivi Narayan Shah. Siddhartha is believed to have attained enlightenment at the age of 35 or around six years after leaving Kapilvastu.
All this pointed that the election will be held with public support despite efforts by those against it. But all that changed after three people were killed in Rajbiraj after the police opened fire on Madhesi Front cadres who were ‘hurling petrol bombs’ toward the venue where UML Chairman KP Oli had just finished his short address.
Men at work
Currently the larger part of our urban area resembles a war zone with bulldozers and mechanical diggers running amok. What is left behind the unfinished work typically consists of mangled water pipes, jumbled up and torn telephone and electric wires, mounds of dug earth and gravel heaps, unfilled ditches and incomplete manholes.
A great aviator in the Nepali skies
Deepak was not only a competent pilot but also someone who had the inner strength to always remain cool, calm, and collected. That nature helped him make a total of three emergency landings in his career as a pilot when he suddenly had to deal with technical malfunctions while flying an aircraft.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.