KATHMANDU, NOV 23: The ongoing local unit restructuring work carried out by the Restructuring Commission under the new federal setup has sparked conflicts in various parts of the country.
Locals dissatisfied with the delineation of local units have not only stepped up protests, but also been involved in clashes with police in many instances. They are complaining that the new delineation of local units does not ensure administrative accessibility and have warned of continuing protests until the new delineations are revised.
Locals in Ilam Municipality Ward 7 submitted a memorandum to the Local Level Technical Assistance Committee on October 25, protesting the decision of the restructuring commission to merge their ward with ward 6 in the same municipality.
As officials of the restructuring commissions conveyed to them that the delienations were not going to change, the locals warned of a series of protests if their demand to include their ward in ward 8 of the municipality was not met.
Similarly, locals in Mahamai village in the same district have expressed disagreement over the proposal of the local level restructuring technical assistance committee.
Organizing a press conference at district headquarters on October 19, they had argued that the new delineation ignores the cultural, economic and social aspects of their village while merging it with Mai municipality.
The locals in Mahamai have demanded that their village be merged with Mangsebung Village Council.
Locals in Aaamchowk village in the district likewise protested the delineation of local units.
Member Secretary of Local Level Technical Assistance Committee Chhabi Lal Khatiwada, who is also planning, monitoring and administrative officer at Ilam District Development Committee, said locals dissatisfied with the delineation of local units have submitted a memorandum at the office. "We have sent the memorandum to the commission, which will try to address those concerns as far as possible," he said.
Similar disputes over local unit delineations have emerged in Sankhuwasabha district. On Wednesday last week,15 people including a policeman were injured when locals at Mamling village staged a protest against the proposed center for Dharmadevi Municipality.
Although there has been agreement on merging Tamaphok, Mamling and Aankhibhui VDCs to create Dharmadevi Municipality, there are differences among locals over its center. While locals at Tamaphok have demanded that Mude be declared its center, others at Mamlingtar have demanded that Jautar should be the center.
Protests over the delineation of local units have flared in Panchthar district as well. Locals clashed with police at district headquarters Phidim on Friday. They were demanding that Kanyatar be declared the center of the new Phalgunanda Municipality and Ranitar village be left undivided. Similar disputes have emerged in other parts of the district.
In Sindhuli, protests have flared in different villages after the local level restructuring committee proposed to delineate two municipalities, and six village councils. Locals have protested against the decision to change the center of Dudhauli Municipality, whose name was changed to Kamalkhuj.
The proposed delineation of local units has drawn protests in other parts of Sindhuli. "The restructuring of the local units should have taken the geographical situation and accessibility for all into consideration. But that did not happen. We will be forced to take to the streets if our demands are not met," Gobinda Pahadi, a local at Hatpate VDC, said.
Meanwhile in Mugu, locals of Rara, Kalai and Dhainkot VDCs have forced a shutdown of government offices and local marketplaces since Sunday, demanding a separate village council in the district . Police arrested at least seven protesters involved in enforcing the shutdown, Tuesday.