Challenges in delegation and execution

 

The municipality of Mahakali was established by reorganizing Khalanga, Chhapari, Kaantai, Dhaap, and Dattu (formerly AP Ward No. 4 to 17 and Dattu Village Development Committee) of the erstwhile Darcula Municipality. It was declared on March 11, 2007, following the division of nine wards connected with the Mahakali Lokmarga along the banks of the Mahakali River. Prior to this municipality, it was bordered by Naugad Rural Municipality to the east, India to the west, Duhun Rural Municipality to the north, and Shailyashikhar Municipality and Malikarjun Rural Municipality to the south. The discourse on the policies, programs, and upcoming plans of this municipality was conducted by the Deputy Mayor of Mahakali Municipality, Durgadevi Khatri, and Narendra Singh Karki, the representative of Darchula District, in coordination with INSEC.

Where is the municipality’s primary focus now?

Currently, Mahakali Municipality does not have its own building. Municipal operations are conducted from a staff residence. Despite the absence of a dedicated municipal building, the municipality continues to serve its citizens. Efforts are being made to empower the employees through the representatives. There are challenges in terms of adequate resource allocation and implementation. Due to the lack of a building with sufficient rooms, arrangements have been made for staff to work, service recipients to wait, and breastfeeding for female employees.

Continuous programs are being conducted under the Women and Children Section to reduce domestic violence, gender-based violence, and violence against children. In addition to this, under the Deputy Mayor’s program, programs are conducted annually in the community and school levels on domestic violence, women’s violence, gender violence, child marriage reduction, and child rights. The majority of the programs with the Deputy Mayor are focused on awareness-building initiatives. To further enhance judicial administration, community mediation centers have been established in nine wards. Due to the proximity to the District Police Office, incidents related to violence are lessened to be dealt with in the municipality’s judicial committee. The municipality provides an annual support of 5 thousand rupees to individuals classified as ‘disabled’ in the ‘G’ category.

How does the municipality ensure the participation of Dalits, indigenous peoples, freed Haliyas, Kamaiyas, Kamalharis, and women in the planning process?

The concept of inclusive planning includes the incorporation of marginalized groups such as Dalits, women, Haliyas, etc., in the planning process through the formation of Ward Development Committees. According to the Ward Development Committee Procedure 2022 (Tol Sudhar Samitee Karyabidhi 2078), Ward Development Committees have been established in every settlement. With 33% mandatory participation in the committees as stipulated in the plan, women’s participation in the Ward Development Committees has been made mandatory at 50%. It is mandated that one of the major positions of the committee must be filled by a woman. Dalit landless people are also included in these Ward Development Committees. The provision has been made to automatically dissolve the committee if it fails to undergo renovation for up to two years and if it fails to function for up to five years, it can be dissolved and a new committee can be formed.

How is the municipality working in the health sector?

The municipality has expanded its health services by adding four urban health units alongside the previous five health posts and one district hospital. This step ensures that citizens have access to healthcare facilities in more locations. Furthermore, the municipality has employed an additional 30 health workers to avoid compromising citizens’ health. Additionally, the municipality is actively involved in the management of medicines to ensure timely availability.

What has the municipality been doing for the education sector?

Since the inception of the municipality, enhancing the education sector has remained a primary focus. Consequently, proactive measures have been undertaken to instigate pivotal reforms in education. Beginning from the current academic term, the levy of fees has been completely waived across all 46 community schools within the municipal boundaries. Furthermore, monthly tuition charges have been discontinued. As per the constitution, the implementation of free education up to the secondary level has been undertaken. As per the designated funds, emphasis has been placed on addressing the construction of physical infrastructure and teacher management as part of the Presidential educational improvement program. Furthermore, school management committees have been established in adherence to stipulated guidelines across all schools. Moreover, scholarships for tertiary education have been extended to residents within the municipality. Notably, these scholarships have been tailored by the municipality to support students pursuing technical education.