An epidemic of corona virus is spreading in Birgunj, the main trade gateway of the country. How did this happen?
This situation came about in Birgunj due to the inaction of the local bodies. Even the district administration office could not check and prevent the open border. Many industrialists smuggled Indian workers into their factories. Due to the constant movement of locals across the border, the metropolis of Birgunj has reached a dire situation today.
The border is not open yet, it is closed. How is it going?
The local administration could not stop the irregular traffic and the local body could not check it. The federal government also failed to provide PCR machines for checkups. The state government provided a PCR machine but did not show much interest. The traders and people here brought PCR machines with their own money but the kits were not given and no check was done. Corona infections were not seen after the check-up. After not seeing the infected people, everyone became fearful that now the outbreak of corona in Birgunj is over. Normal precautions were not taken. If there had been occasional check-ups, such a dire situation would not have arisen.
So Corona has entered the community level in Birgunj?
It is not possible to enter the community level unless there is a proper check. Now, if you have a slight cold, you may have a corona. In a period of four months, the local, state and federal governments could not do anything at Nepal’s main trade gateway. If 50 corona are found infected here, they are not in a position to keep them. Gandak is kept only in the hospital, there may be only up to 30 beds at most. It is a shame that nobody pays attention to the place that provides the most sources of revenue. The local and state governments have also failed in this.
Now there is a three-tier government, no one has paid attention?
The federal government provided a PCR machine through the state government, but it would not work if the guns were not fired. That machine also started after 45 days. But there has been no check here for the last one month. We are now hearing that there has been a community infection in Birgunj. But it cannot be confirmed that it has already happened.
The state government and the metropolitan leaders belong to the same party because there is no coordination?
Even though they belong to the same party, it is up to them why they could not get along well. However, the victims are also from the state government and the locals. Due to that, not only Birgunj but the people of the entire state are in dire straits today. The only thing that can be done today is the state and local government. Suppose the federal government did not do it, but the state government had to do it. The state government has already allocated Rs 2 billion for the prevention and control of corona. Where did that two billion go? Where did the state government spend? People are in Trahimam, they say that money has been spent.
So the budget allocated by State 2 for Corona is limited to paper?
You may have spent a little, you may have given something. For example, 2.5 million was given for food expenses or relief was distributed to show. It is not the job of the state government to distribute relief. The local bodies were distributing in the wards. We have repeatedly said that a coveted hospital or an isolation ward with a capacity of 1,200 people should be set up in a good place in State-2. Corona’s dire situation could come. Because the checkpoints of all the districts of Province 2 are open and there is open movement from all of them. Therefore, since the state is on the highest alert, the Chief Minister has no interest in managing Covid.
Why is the state government not aware of the risk of becoming the hotspot of state 2 Corona?
We have been repeatedly drawing the attention of the government in the state assembly. We are in opposition but the lawmakers of the ruling party are protesting that the ministers and the chief minister are involved in corruption, the people are suffering and the farmers are suffering. The government of Province 5 has done an exemplary job, making arrangements to take the vegetables grown by the farmers there to other places. But the government of Province 2 did nothing but talk in the name of Corona.
Why the budget of the state 2 government could not be unanimous this time?
As there is a lot to learn in the first practice in Nepal according to the federal structure, we unanimously passed the two-year budget unopposed. We did not protest that we should learn a lot. However, when we did not protest against the budget for those two years, they started acting arbitrarily. This time we protested after the minister started not publishing the Red Book, committing corruption and irregularities wherever he liked, giving contracts wherever he liked, wherever he could find a commission. The lawmakers of the ruling party have been protesting against such activities even more than the opposition. This time the budget has been passed by a majority only after pressure from the central leaders of the ruling party. If there was no pressure from the center, the budget of the state government would have been known and so would the government. An examination of the past budgets of the state government reveals widespread corruption and irregularities. The Accountant General’s Office has also said that Rs 1.75 billion has been misappropriated and not paid.