‘We plan to make our municipality beautiful’


Baudhimai Municipality in Rautahat district is renowned for its historic temple ‘Baudhimai’ after which the municipality is named. Mayor Pradeep Kumar Yadav said he is working to make its citizens healthy and educated by addressing problems prevalent in these sectors. Our Rautahat correspondent Sanjay Kumar Mishra recently talked to Mayor Yadav about his development plans. Excerpts: 

After assuming the office, what measures have you taken to make the development work result-oriented in the municipality? 
I assumed this office on May 30, 2022. From day one, we embarked on transforming the open public land in Gajuramai Parti of Ward No. 8 which was constantly under threat of encroachment. Over the past five years, the absence of a municipal gazette and a legal framework posed challenges in executing our duties. Thus, we swiftly moved forward by establishing the municipal council and working on various regulations and procedures, including the municipal gazette, education, agriculture and infrastructure master plan.

What sectors you have prioritised in the development efforts? 
Public often considers development as the construction of roads and drainages. But, in my perspective, the health and education of individuals should be prioritised.  The municipality has made steady progress in delivering health services by informing the public about the list of free medicines to address health-related issues.
In Madhes province, our municipality has ranked 10th  and first in Rautahat district in addressing health problems and in delivering quality health services. 
Likewise, in the education sector, we have formulated the Education Act and advertised teacher vacancies proportionate to student numbers. Furthermore, we decided to withdraw the teacher facility if less than 75 per cent of the total students pass any subject. Door-to-door campaigns, stage dramas, and cultural programmes have been intensified to boost student enrollment. Significant progress has been made in constructing school buildings and ensuring the timely distribution of textbooks and scholarships.

What is the progress status of road networks in the municipality?
For the construction of roads, a road plan has been implemented. Out of 154.26 kilometres roads in the municipality, 14.41 kilometres has been blacktopped, 34.02 kilometres has been concretised, 52.85 has been graveled and 43.51 remain unpaved.

What is the total area of government land in the municipality and how has this been verified? 
Before the issuance of the letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs, we completed archival records and data collection of government land. Based on that, a total of 276 bighas, 11 kaththas and 8 dhurs of government land were identified. After the introduction of the governmental policy, it was easier to verify it as government land.

What are the policies and programmes of Baudhimai Municipality?
Previously, there was no municipal council or winter session. After assuming the office, I spent a year formulating laws and regulations. I started filling out forms for Local Government Institutional Capacity Self-Assessment (LISA), resulting in the municipality ranking 39th in LISA. Education, health, infrastructure, employment and agriculture are included in the policies and programmes.

What initiatives have you taken to develop the agricultural sector?
I planned to provide subsidies for fertilisers to farmers. However, there is a provision that no organisation is allowed to provide subsidies in fertilisers as the Nepal Government has been providing subsidies in fertilisers. After seeing the alienation of farmers from the agriculture sector, I have worked to encourage them towards agriculture and animal husbandry by making policies for agriculture and providing subsidies to farmers. The data regarding farmers, their farmlands and livestock are collected. Once the data is collected, no animal from this municipality will be deprived of animal insurance. 

How is the coordination among the members of the municipal executive committee?
In the municipality, no party has a clear majority. Representatives from various parties with different ideologies have been elected. I had to forge unity among the representatives, which took about six months to accomplish. Currently, the members of the executive committee are working in consensus and their relationship is good. Even if there are differences of opinion among representatives of different parties, we are moving forward with positive thoughts.

Are municipal services easily accessible to the public? What is the state of good governance in terms of providing services? 
The work of the public is being carried out smoothly adhering to the rules. For good governance, modern equipment like electronic attendance machines have been installed in every ward, office and school. Public hearing programmes are being conducted to inform people about municipal works. Similarly, the ‘Hello Mayor’ programme is conducted to collect complaints from the public and address them. Regular training is provided to the employees to reinforce the presence of local government, and the employees are deployed to expedite work while adhering to rules and regulations.

What is the current status of the distribution process of social security allowances and child nutrition allowances? 
Before I was elected mayor, I used to see elderly, sick and children being exposed to harsh sunlight while waiting in line at the bank to collect their allowances. At that time, I made a promise that if I became the mayor, I would facilitate the distribution of allowances through the bank branches in each ward. After being elected, I discussed this issue with the bank officials and now, social security allowance distribution is being conducted through banks in every ward. Even if someone is unable to come to the ward office, the allowances are distributed to them at home by the bank. This is the first municipality in Madhes Province which has been distributing social security allowances through banks in each ward.

What challenges have you faced and how do you intend to solve them? 
Facing challenges is a part of the job, but I see challenges as opportunities. I hold regular staff meetings, meet with the school headmasters and the staff of the health institutions to evaluate the shortcomings and solve them. It’s a challenging task to solve the problems that have been prevalent for ages, but we are rigorously working to solve these problems.

What are the expectations from people to make the municipality prosperous and developed? 
As the mayor, I invite all political party members and the public to come together, utilise their abilities and collaborate for the development and prosperity of the municipality. After being elected, I have been taking the initiative to work in collaboration with all my friends. Despite the bustling nature of Bankul Bazaar, which serves as the heart of Baudhimai Municipality, efforts are underway to make it clean, beautiful and organised. However, the behaviour of saying one thing in a meeting and doing another in practice regarding the management of Bankul Bazaar should be changed. 
I am determined to make Baudhimai Municipality clean, beautiful and developed with the cooperation of everyone and strict adherence to the rules and laws.
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