Chandra Kishore Jha in "Asal Shashan" (Good Governance)
Irregularities in public works undertaken by the Birganj municipality is nothing new but the scale of irregularities in the construction of the children's park at Laxmanapa has eclipsed all past scandals. The municipality has already paid the contractor for the park, Adarsha Nirman Company, a whopping Rs 6.5 million out of the total bill of Rs 8.92 million. The actual cost of filling the land at current market price would not be more than Rs 3.6 million.
The municipality has made payments to the tune of Rs 13.70 per cubic feet of land-fill, but contractors in the Birganj municipality area charge a maximum of only Rs 6 per cubic feet for the same job. "This is open corruption," said Ram Rajya Yadav, a local journalist. Chief of the Planning Division of the Birganj municipality, Prakash Man Singh Amatya, also admitted that the payment made was much higher than the actual work done.
A local resident, Yogendra Sahani, filed a complaint at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) against the then Mayor of Birganj municipality, Bimal Shrivastav, and other senior officials. The CIAA asked the then Chief District Officer of Parsa (Birganj is the headquarters of Parsa district), Narayan Gopal Malego, to investigate the case. Malego, however, did not take any initiative to bring the culprit to book. Now Abdul Rais Khan, who succeeded Malego, has committed to look into the issue. The Birganj locals will have to wait for their new park till the matter is resolved and the new CDO takes concrete action.