As the current fiscal year nears its end, various sections of Saptami-Mauwa Road in southern part of Panchthar district are seen bustling with laborers.
The road section is one of the many places in Panchthar, working the eleventh hour to finish the budget allocated for the current fiscal year. Similar busyness among contractors and consumer committees is expected to remain through mid-July. There have been increased efforts in the name of projects like monitoring of employees and public representative planning for the sake of budget implementation of local and provincial government plans.
Local units in the district have managed to spend only around 50% of the budget allocation so far. The dismal spending reflects the delay in budget implementation by the authorities concerned. Most of the development projects still remain unfinished, while some are nowhere near completion.
Interestingly, new projects are still being launched. Four new road projects to be implemented by Infrastructure Development Office were launched recently. The road projects, which have been launched under Chief Minister Rural Road Program, are being implemented despite knowing that they do not have DPR and cannot be implemented in the current fiscal year. These projects have been named Hewa Khola, Nuwa Khola, Nawa Khola, and Niwu Khola corridors. The projects have been allocated Rs 2 million each for the current fiscal year.
Bharat Kumar Yadav, office chief of Infrastructure Development Office, which looks after Panchthar and Taplejung districts, said eight more projects to be completed within the current fiscal year are in pipeline.
“Of Rs 400 million allocated for the office in the current fiscal year, only around 10% has been spent so far,” he said, adding: “Our focus is on ensuring smooth implementation of the projects in the remaining time.”
Meanwhile, District Health Office is implementing an infrastructure project worth Rs 70 million. The budget is being used to build playground, health facilities and school buildings. “Of the 23 projects, project contract of three projects is still to be designed,” Tej Bahadur Tumbahamphe, chief of the office, told Republica.
Work performance in education front is no different. Of the 21 building projects being implemented by District Education Office, five are making spending in haste.
Other projects in Silauti, Lobrekuti and Hilahang Palace as well as various view tower
projects are also making spending in haste.
The situation in local units is not different. Arun Rai, chief administrative officer of Miklajung Rural Municipality, said they will be under tremendous pressure through mid-July. “Implementation of different projects was affected due to lack of accounts officer,” Rai said, adding: “We are trying our best to complete all the projects by the fiscal year-end.”