Rolpa officials under fire over names of municipalities

Published On: December 27, 2017 07:45 AM NPT By: Dinesh Subedi

ROLPA, Dec 27: Local level representatives of Rolpa district have courted controversy for sidelining important works in health and education sectors as well as infrastructural development and instead of being involved in other contentious activities. 

People's representatives in three local units of the district have sparked heated debate for proposing to change the name and center of their respective rural municipality. 

The debate started with the decision to change the name and center of Sukidaha Rural Municipality. Suwarnawati Rural Municipality was also severely criticized for taking the same stance. Representatives of Tribeni Rural Municipality also got dragged into controversy after deciding to change its center. 

Chairman of Sukidaha Rural Municipality Bir Bahadur Khatri proposed to change the rural municipality's name into 'Ganga Dev Rural Municipality'. The proposed name is after his wife Ganga Oli and Dev Bahadur Oli who died during the Maoist insurgency. 

Likewise, preparation is being made to transfer Sukhidaha's center from Sukhaodar to Sandada. Although the chairperson's proposal was approved by two-thirds majority during a meeting of the village council, many locals have objected to the decision. 

“There are many martyrs. But it is wrong to handpick the name of his wife and forget other martyrs for renaming the rural municipality. It is an insult to all others,” said Roshan Oli of CPN-UML, who was defeated in the elections for the post of Sukidaha Rural Municipality chair by Khatri.

Oli also accused that the chairperson is transferring the center for personal gains. “It is related to land transactions and plotting plans. The chairperson and few others colluded with land mafia raising the value of land in the new center.”

Suwarnawati's Chairperson Gunendra Gharti Magar also proposed changing the rural municipality's name into Shahid Suni Memorial Rural Municipality. However, four ward chairpersons of the rural municipality opposed the idea.

Chairperson of ward-4 Gunja Bahadur Chhetri, ward-3 Jed Bahadur Bista, ward-2 Netra Bahadur Giri and ward-1 Keshav Lal Kunwar opposed the move and released a joint statement arguing that it is wrong to change the name of historical and religious importance into a person's name. 

The rural municipality's chair Gharti Magar said the decision has not been taken yet and it was only a proposal. “It is difficult to pronounce Suwarnawati as it is a religious and literary name. Besides that, the name does not hold any meaning,” he said, clarifying the reason for proposing the new name. He said the decision regarding the matter would be taken on Wednesday.

Likewise, representatives of Tribeni Rural Municipality came under criticisms regarding the transfer of its center. The debate is on whether Jugar or Tribeni should be the rural municipality's center. 

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