'Population of Ilam declining'

Published On: March 20, 2018 06:00 AM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

Municipality encourages parents to deliver more number of babies

ILAM, March 20: As the world struggles to cope with poverty, starvation, illiteracy, urbanization as a result of rapid and unmanaged population growth, Ilam Municipality has decided to encourage its residents to give birth to more children. The municipality has surprisingly introduced an offer to provide more facilities and privileges to the parents giving birth to more number of children. 

The municipality has already initiated this offer from March 15. The meeting of the municipal office held few days ago, took this decision. A mother giving birth to two children will be provided with Rs 2,000, three children will be provided with Rs 3,000 and the mother giving birth to five or more than five children will be provided with Rs 5,000 by the municipality.

Twenty years ago, the municipality used to offer ghee and clothes to the pregnant mothers. But from now onward, such woman will be provided with cash. Not just that, the husband of the pregnant woman will be given a 15-day leave from the office after the birth of their child. In order to facilitate pregnant mothers, the municipality has also announced to transfer the working stations of both husband and wife in the same place for their convenience during the pregnancy period.

According to Mayor Mahesh Basnet, population growth is disappointingly low in the municipality. "Growing population will ensure more political and social participation,” said Basnet. 

This, according to Mayor Basnet, is something to be concerned about. "There are many schools and colleges which are to be shut down due to lack of students," said Basnet, adding, "Every year a large number of our projects are affected due to lack of manpower." 

In 2011, the population of Ilam Municipality was 18,633 which increased to 19,612 in 2015. Preparations are underway to transform the municipality into a metropolitan city in the next 20 years. For that, the population needs to be more 200,000. As of now, its population is around 48,000. 

According to Basnet, population growth rate is declining at the national level since a few decades and this will affect the political, social, administrative and economic development of a local unit or the whole country. "It's time to increase population," stressed mayor Basnet.

Urbanization, migration and busy lifestyle have resulted in the decrease of population in Ilam.  "Life expectancy is increasing," claims Basnet, adding, "If the opulation is not increased, Ilam will be a city only of elderly people in the next few years."

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