Uncertainty looms large over the Integrated Security and Development Program (ISDP) in Gorkha launched by the government two years ago that hoped to develop Gorkha as a 'model district'. The peace and development package is gathering dust thanks to the Finance Ministry not releasing funds on time. In the initial program seven districts were selected, but the government backtracked and decided solely on Gorkha.
Although Rs 3.6 million was set aside from the budget during the current fiscal year, the bureaucracy seemed to deliberately drag its heels and is now involved in discussing the next national budget. It was estimated that the district needed Rs 15 million this year to effectively implement the program.
Out of the allocated amount, Rs 2 million was set aside for the Nageshwor-Nigel road, Rs 1 million for the Ghyampesal-Tarkukot road and Rs 700 thousand to build the road between Chorkate and Chitre. The district monitoring committee formed under the chairmanship of the local development officer has not met in a year. The newly appointed district security chief Col Prakash Kumar KC requested a meeting, but the LDO refused to convene until the funds are released.
Gopi Koirala of the DDC said the budget was delayed in last year too. The government finally granted Rs 8 million to which the DMC contributed Rs 5 million, enabling the completion of construction work worth Rs 13 million. Madhav Prasad Ojha, chief district officer and member of the DMC, revealed work had been hampered when even the DMC delayed payments.
The lack of peace and security, especially in northern Gorkha has added to problems. "The security situation and negligence from the centre is killing the very concept of developing Gorkha as a model district," says Ojha. NGOs have long deserted the area after law and order deteriorated. The ISDP was the government's attempt at filling the void left by the NGOs that bailed out.