KATHMANDU Dec 2 :The government has announced the creation of 61 new municipalities across the country. A meeting of the Cabinet Social Committee held at the Prime Minister’s Office at Singdurbar Tuesday took a decision to this effect on a proposal forwarded by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD).[break]
With the government decision to announce the additional municipalities, the number of municipalities has reached 191. The government has also upgraded seven municipalities to the status of sub-metropolitan city.
The newly announced municipalities include Deumai (in Ilam district), Shiva Satakshi (in Jhapa), Letang-Bhogateni (Morang), Ramdhuni-Bhasi (Sunsari), Pakhribas (Dhankuta) Sadanand (Bhojpur), Madi (Sankhuwasabha), Saptakoshi (Saptari), Golbazar (Siraha), Dhudhkunda (Solukhumbu), Bardibas (Mahottari), Jiri (Dolakha), Dudhauli (Sindhuli), Garuda (Rautahat) and Pokhariya (Parsa).
Number reaches 191
Kathmandu district has nine more municipalities, Bhaktapur district four and Lalitpur three
Sub-metropolis number is now 11
Areas of 16 municipalities expanded
Urban area population now stands at 36.8 pc
Kathmandu district has nine more municipalities. These are Gokarneswor, Dakshinkali, Tarakeswor, Shankarapur, Chandragiri, Kageswori-Manohara, Tokha, Nagarjun and Budhanilkantha.
Similarly, Bhaktapur district has four additional municipalities, including Anantalingeswor, Suryabinayak, Changunarayan and Mahamanjushri-Nagarkot.
“Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts now have no village development committees left as all the VDCs in these two districts have been converted into municipalities,” Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Shanta Raj Subedi, told Republica.
Three new municipalities have been announced for Lalitpur district---Karyabinayak, Godawari and Mahalaxmi. In Ramechhap district, the two new municipalities are Manthali and Ramechhap.
Three new municipalities each have been announced in Dhanusa and Bara districts. Ganeshman-Charnath, Mithila and Sabaila are the new municipalities in Dhanusa, and Mahagadhimai, Simaraungadh and Kohalbi in Bara, according to the government decision.
Likewise, Madi and Narayani are the new municipalities in Chitwan district.
Kashikhanda (Kavrepalanchwok), Melamchi (Sindhupalchowk), Palungtar (Gorkha), Sundarbazar (Lamjung), Banganga and Buddhabatika (Kapilbastu), Bheri Ganga (Surkhet), Musikot (Rukum), Lamahi and Tripur (Dang), Liwang (Rolpa), Sanoshree-Taratal and Bansgadhi (Bardiya), Badimalika (Bajura), Bhajani-Trishakti and Ghodaghodi (Kailali), Dodharaa-Chandai and Jhalari-Pipaladi (Kanchanpur), Parshuram (Dadheldhura) and Patan (Baitadi) are also among the new municipalities.
The municipalities upgraded to sub-metropolitan cities are Itahari, Dharan, Janakpur, Hetauda, Bharatpur, Butwal and Nepalgunj.
Meanwhile, the government has also decided to expand the areas of 16 municipalities and of Pokhara and Lalitpur sub-metropolitan cities.
Talking to Republica, Spokesman at MoFALD, Purna Chandra Bhattarai, informed that the Social Committee meeting has decided to expand the areas of Bhadrapur, Dhankuta, Lahan, Siraha, Jaleswor, Malangawa, Birgunj, Ratnanagar, Lekhanath, Gorakha, Byas, Kapilbastu, Birendranagar and Tulsipur municipalities.
A Municipal Area Delineation and Recommendation Committee headed by Dr Keshabananda Giri had suggested to the government to announce 66 new municipalities, in line with the Local Self-Governance Act, 1999.
The other new municipalities proposed by the committee were Bajrabarahi (Lalitpur), Bhanu and Bhimad-Rishing (Tanahu), Galyang (Syanja) and Babai (Bardiya).
“The five additional municipalities recommended by the Giri committee will be announced later,” the spokesman further said. The government did not announce these municipalities right now, owing to various reasons, such as inadequate infrastructure and possible land disputes at the local level.
A technical committee formed under MoFALD has been entrusted with carrying out a detail study with regard to the proposed five additional municipalities.
With the government announcement Tuesday, the number of sub-metropolitan cities has reached 11 and the number of municipalities 191. Kathmandu remains the sole metropolitan city. Similarly, the number of VDCs is now 3,276.
The population of the urban areas has now reached 36.8 percent of the total population.
Senior officials at the Prime Minister’s Office termed the government’s announcement ridiculous, given the inadequate infrastructure at the local level.
“It has become a trend to announce additional municipalities time and again even without the essential infrastructure and budgetary resources. This latest decision is just continuity of the past,” the official said, requesting anonymity. He said that this time also the government has not thought about the economic viability of the new municipalities.
However, Spokesman Bhattarai informed that MoFALD will issue guidelines very soon to all the newly announced municipalities and sub-metropolitan cities to set up standards for running their activities on their own. This is the second time the Sushil Koirala-led government has added new municipalities. In May also, the government added 72 municipalities across the country.
In May also, the government added 72 municipalities across the country.
"It will create problems in statute restructuring": UCPN(Maoist) Vice-Chairman and former local development minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha:
I am yet to study the details of how the municipalities have been declared. But the question now is whether the announcement was necessary. There is no guarantee that all the places declared as municipalities will remain intact during the state restructuring process. It is likely to create new problems in state restructuring. The government should have avoided this kind of decision at this time. We are miffed that the government did not even consult the opposition parties.
"This is an attempt at cheap popularity" : Laxman Lal Karna, Co-Chairman, Sadbhawana Party
The new municipalities have been announced without any basis. While the government has on one hand been saying that it is not economically viable to go for too many federal provinces, it is announcing a large number of new municipalities on the other. The announcement of the new municipalities was not required especially when Nepal is all set to undergo state restructuring. The government has taken a wrong step just to earn cheap popularity.