Saturday, 2 March, 2024

Hassle-free Services

Dillydallying and bribery seem to have been a common problem facing service seekers at public offices, especially land revenue offices and transport management offices, across the country. Although the country has now gone for a changed political system, the mentality of many employees working at offices still remains unchanged. They are not found carrying out their duties in a responsible and accountable manner. According to a news report published in this daily, many service seekers are bound to get their land revenue-related work done at the land revenue office based in Nepalgunj only through middlemen. The service seekers have to visit the office for several times just to get their minor work such as land registration done as the employees do not perform their duties in an efficient manner. The common people often get fed up with the way the staff members work. In one pretext or other, the employees test the service seekers’ patience. However, the concerned files move ahead faster when the middlemen are involved in the process.

The employees frequently turn the service seekers back citing the problem of server or Internet failures. They also say that their documents are incomplete but they do not advise the service seekers how to complete them. Sometimes the employees tell the service seekers that their plots of land are not registered in their computer record. At other times, they, however, do not feel difficulty to say that the land-related documents are incorrect. The service seekers seem tired and disappointed because they have to visit the office every day and return home empty-handed. They also reel under problems due to the absence of the office chief. The office has a quota for 51 employees. But four of the officer posts have remained vacant at the office that is visited by about 300-400 service seekers daily for various purposes like land registration, transfer and hold. Although the office has launched an online system to facilitate the service seekers since last year, the system is not functioning in a smooth way.

Some service seekers say that those who work through middlemen and brokers do not face hassles and their files move forward speedily. The middlemen charge people ranging from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,000 depending upon the nature of the work. It is interesting to note that the middlemen also reveal the charges of the employees concerned for a particular work to be done. So, the service seekers are forced to employ a middleman to get their work done. It is an open secret that the employees get some money through the middlemen to carry out the work. If they do not get the money, they stall the process by citing unwanted reasons. This tendency must come to an end. The concerned ministry and other responsible agencies need to monitor the land revenue and other offices that are directly associated with the general public on a regular basis. The anti-corruption agencies like the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and the National Vigilance Centre have a proactive role to play in containing irregularities prevalent in such offices. People could heave a sight of relief once the middlemen were not allowed to enter the office premises.