District HQs losing old charm

Published On: March 29, 2018 07:59 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

BIRATNAGAR, March 28: With the implementation of federalism, the districts headquarters are losing their old charm while movement of people is gradually increasing in the new centers of the local units across the country. 

After local restructuring, a higher number of people are opting to stay in the villages and local units for studies and employment. 

In the past years before the implementation of federalism, many people were compelled to go the district headquarters for employment and education. 

According to District Land Revenue Office (DLRO) of Ilam, the number of land transactions in the district headquarters has significantly decreased compared to the last year. 

“Previously, our office used to approve five to 10 land transactions per day,” said Deu Kumari Lawati, information officer at the DLRO. “Nowadays land transactions in the district headquarters have decreased while those in the villages have increased,” he added. 

Mayor Surya Pokharel of Deumai Municipality said lots of people are queuing up to purchase land in his municipality. According to him, people started showing interests in purchasing land in the municipality after the blacktopping of the Nepaltar-Mangalbare road section along the Mechi Highway.

“The development of road link between Jhapa and Panchthar has increased people's interest in buying land here. We will continue our efforts to link every village with roads,” he said. “With the ongoing projects of roads, drinking water, irrigation, more numbers of people are opting to stay in the villages than in the district headquarters,” added Mayor Pokharel. 

The situation is the same in Inaruwa, the district headquarters of Sunsari. Kedar Sah, a local of Popular Chowk in Inaruwa, has been running a betel leaf shop for the past two decades. His shop is just 500 meters north of the office of the District Coordination Committee (DCC). As his shop his near government offices including DCC and District Administration Office, he used to get lots of customers who visited these government offices.   

Previously, Sah used to receive as many as 600 customers per day. “At present, I hardly get 100 customers,” he said. “There are fewer people who visit the government offices here these days. That has hurt my business.”

According to Avinanda Kumar Yadav, a local youth politician, the implementation of federalism has lessened the need to visit the district headquarters. “With federalism, many government services have already reached the villages. This has decreased the need to visit the district headquarters. As a result, Inaruwa does not see any significant movement of people these days.”

The office of Gauriganj Rural Municipality of Jhapa district usually gets crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. The office of the local unit's vice-chairman Deependra Thapa gets filled with service seekers on those days for hearings of legal cases and their judgment. Most of the cases, including domestic violence, transactions as well as petty crimes are resolved at his office. 

“Apart from serious crimes, most of the cases are sorted out in our local unit. There is no need to go to district headquarters for small cases. People are satisfied with the justice delivery here,” said Thapa.

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