Province 1 still struggling to fix permanent capital

Published On: May 20, 2018 07:43 AM NPT By: Raju Adhikari

BIRATNAGAR, May 20: Difference in opinions of the party members and the indecisiveness of the provincial government have made the issue of fixing the capital of province 1 more critical.

The task of fixing the permanent capital of the province is becoming more challenging as the high level ministers don't want to change the capital while the parliamentarians of the provincial assembly are making their best efforts to change the capital from Biratnagar. 

The province has not been able to address this problem even after such a long time since the formation of the government. Chief Minister (CM) Sherdhan Rai, along with other members of his cabinet and high profile ministers are of the opinion that Biratnagar is perfect as the capital of the province. Apart from most parliamentarians of Morang and a few of Sunsari all other parliamentarians are completely against the decision.

Knowing that the topic of capital will trigger disputes, the provincial government did not discuss it in the 93 days long first session of the provincial parliament. While shifting to a new building of Biratnagar CM Rai had said, "We know that most members are not happy with the decision of declaring Biratnagar as the capital but we can't waste more time finding buildings and managing resources and infrastructures. We have it here so we don't want to waste more time," said CM Rai.

Some parliamentarians of the ruling party argue that the capital must be fixed in a place which is accessible for the locals of all 14 districts of the province. "Considering the international borders and the accessibility for the locals of other district, Biratnagar is not a suitable capital," said Basanta Baniya, a parliamentarian from the ruling NCP, adding, "If we fix Biratnagar as the permanent capital, we are not thinking about all people."

Tanka Angbuhang, who was the leader of CPN (Maoist Center) before the party unification agrees that apart from the leaders of Morang, all are against the decision of fixing Biratnagar as the capital. Recently, 41 parliamentarians tried to express their disappointment over the government's decision by submitting a memorandum. The provincial government was preparing to make provincial assembly in Biratnagar when they submitted their signatures to Speaker Pradip Kumar Bhandari. They had demanded not to waste money on constructing buildings without first fixing the permanent capital.

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