Service seekers have complained about the ill intentions of the District Administration Office staff members who ask for bribes for every single service they provide.
According to the locals, the tendency of asking for bribes has become unbearable. In a recent incident, Surya Prasad Thapa, 24, from Raghu, Arunodaya, had to cough up Rs 1,000 for a mere recommendation letter applying for passport renewal which otherwise should have come free of service.
“It was only after paying Rs 1,000 that first class non-gazetted officer Kamal Poudel prepared the recommendation letter,” Thapa claimed. Police have arrested Poudel after Thapa had noted down the number of the bank note before handing it and tipped off police personnel along with media persons.
Thapa told the Post that he was compelled to bribe the official after being told by others that it was virtually impossible to avail the service without providing some financial incentive.
Meanwhile, justifying the incident, Poudel claimed that he had taken Thapa for lunch and was later insisted on taking the money as an appreciation.
It has been reported that officials have also previously asked for bribes while providing services like citizenship certificate transcript, recommendation for a lost passport and while renewing the licence of organisations.
Another victim Manmaya Thapamagar, 41, of Daldale, Nawalparasi, said that she was forced to pay Rs 1,500 to a lekhapadhi working at the front of the DAO after being told that her work would not be forwarded by the DAO staffs if she does not consent on paying the bribe.
Manmaya lamented on the inaction of concerned authorities over the bribery scandal, more so at a time when she had filed a complaint with Chief District Officer Man Bahadur BK. “I was hoping to get my money back after the complaint but no action has been taken yet,” Manamaya said.
Meanwhile, the lekhapadhi businessman admitted that they had been charging the service seekers in collusion with the DAO officials.
The service seekers are forced to pay up the amount since the government has not set up a fixed charge for the lekhapadhi.
Assistant CDO Sharad Kumar Pokhrel asserted that his officers, those who have already confessed of accepting money for providing services, would be subjected to punishment following due procedure.