As CDO Slips Out Of Office, Staff Take A Break
Kathmandu, Nov. 22
It was exactly 10:00 a.m. when Kathmandu Chief District Officer Janakraj Dahal walked out of his office on Thursday.
CDO Dahal, who was coming down the stairs of his office room number 207, had a brief chat with this scribe after he introduced himself as a reporter .
Responding to the introduction, CDO Dahal then told the scribe that he had to leave the office to attend a function. He didn’t tell which function he was going to attend and got on his vehicle.
This was the first scene this scribe and two other journalists confronted on reaching the CDO office at 9:15 a.m.
As soon as the CDO left the office, some of the office employees — some in their official uniform and a few in informal dresses– started coming out of their office rooms.
One office employee, who was coming out of his room with his smiling gesture, said “Let’s enjoy the sun with our other sun-basking friends.” By then a loud laughter was heard in the ground space of the office premises. It was 10:10 a.m. This scribe observed the employees who were engaged in chatting and hugging and sometimes shaking hands with one another under the sun.
The service seekers at the passport block number 107 had already started standing in a long queue, but there were very few service seekers at the windows of the citizenship certificate section (block number 105). The employees continued their chatting till 10:30 a.m. in the same ground.
At around 10:30 a.m., some employees went inside their office rooms at the citizenship certificate block and started attending to the service seekers. When this scribe entered the Kathmandu Administration Office right at 9:15 a.m., a police man, Satyaram Ghimire, who was standing near the main office gate, said that CDO Dahal would usually arrive at the office at 9:00 a.m.
After returning from the field observation, this scribe dialled a phone number 01-4262448 at 3:05, the employee at personal assistance section replied that CDO Dahal had not arrived at the office.
“We don’t have any idea where he had gone and when he will arrive at the office,” an office employee told over the telephone.
Although the office started witnessing gradual inflow of the service seekers, the three Assistant CDOs—Krishna Bahadur Katuwal, Jeevan Acharya and Gaulochan Sainju –were not at the office.
When we were talking to the service seekers on the office premise at 11:18 am, one of the Assistant CDOs and information officer Jeevan Prasad Acharya got off his vehicle. He then directly entered the room of CDO, which was vacant.
Following him up to the room number 207, this scribe and two other journalists approached the PA section and successfully managed a meeting with Acharya.
Talking to journalists at the CDO office room, he said that he, along with other friends, were at a training session hosted at Judicial Service Training Centre, Babarmahal, Kathmandu. “I was late today as I was attending the training of CDOs focussing on their career development,” Acharya said.
When journalists asked about services being delivered from the Kathmandu District Administration, he said the office mainly provided services related to issuing citizenship certificates, photocopies of the missing citizenships, issuance of copy of old and damaged citizenship, issuance of passports, renewal and registration of organisations and services related to police and law and order cases.
Assistant CDO and information officer Acharya said that the office had failed to publicise the good work done by the Kathmandu CDO.
Daily, around 250 to 300 service seekers visit the office, he said. Usually, the inflow of the service seekers remains high on Sunday and Monday. “We are working by maintaining zero tolerance policy when we have to dedicate the service to the public,” he said.
Majority of the office employees arrive at the office within a time if no technical and ceremonial causes they encounter, he said. “We sometimes have to work at the office till 8:30 p.m., although there is no any incentive to us,” Acharya said. “We are working at the office as if we are under the command of security body,” he said.
The office has just 60-65 staff members. Acharya said that any service seeker visiting the office with their personal work could get their job done within 40 minutes in maximum if they possessed all necessary documents with them.
Assistant CDO Krishna Bahadur Katuwal, who was said to be available at the office premises, could not be found at his office for more than three hours and the service seekers were waiting for him outside the window of his room for hours.
When this scribe called Katuwal, he did not receive the call. Katuwal later called this scribe at 4:32 p.m. on Thursday and said he was late in the office as he was attending a programme organised by GoGo Foundation in Lalitpur.
Padam Bahadur Sarki, a service seeker, who had arrived from Pokhara to have his passport through the fast-track process, said that he had to wait for 30 minutes for getting his work done.
He had submitted his application form to get the passport within three days by paying a charge of Rs. 10,000. To get passport within one day through the rapid process, everyone has to pay Rs. 15,000 charge. Through the normal procedure, a passport will be ready at Rs. 5,000.