Chitral .. It is no secret that that the much trumped about local govt system i.e democracy at grass root level has slumped into an inability mode regarding deliverance of services. It is not the failure of intention here, but the implications in practicing democracy which has made the system almost a mockery in the eyes of the people.
A glaring example is of Chitral where a mini hydel plant constructed by an NGO got into a quagmire of controversy and the local govt despite trying, could not handle it. Eventually the army had to intervene to sort out the matter of who should get the electricity. The limitation of elected representatives is that they can not afford to annoy any one and therefore end up being an “every body’s friend is no body’s freind”.
It is also seen that despite an elected local government in place, the power of decision and financial authority practically lies in the hands of bureaucrats. The bureaucrats who are entrenched firmly in their positions are more confident about their jobs than the elected Nazims and Councillors who are all the time worried about guarding their tails lest they be voted out through a no confidence move. With their feet shaky on the ground and lacking requisite qualifications compared to the bureaucrats how can the elected representatives command the cunningly experienced officialdom and how can they deliver?. This is the frailty of democracy. If instead of electing members for the LG, people had been appointed as Nazims and councilors through competitive exams, they would not be taken for a ride by the bureaucrats, neither would they be worried all the time about being booted out through a conspiracy/no confidence motion, and the local government would be an institution instead of being a mere playfield for politicians. .. CN report, 14 Sep 2017