BIRATNAGAR, April 6: In a bid to make government services accessible to the people living in all corners, Province 1 government is planning to fix its capital in a 40-kilometer area scattered in various districts. This area will cover certain parts of Biratnagar, Itahari, Gothgaun, Biratchowk, Dharan among others and will be called the 'Greater Birat Development Area'.
The meeting of the provincial parliament held on Thursday night came to an agreement to evaluate and analyze the bill proposing the concept of 'Greater Birat Development Area'. "We have begun preparations for the bill which will help us fix our capital," said Indra Angbo, minister of Financial Affairs and Planning of Province 1.For a long time, the provincial government lobbied to declare Biratnagar as its permanent capital. In fact, most members of the parliament including Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai were stuck with their decision to fix Biratnagar as the permanent capital.
They argued that Biratnagar has enough infrastructures required for a capital. However, the majority of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) members demanded Itahari to be declared the capital. "Instead of choosing a place which has always been benefited, it will be wise to give opportunity to a less developed place which is geographically accessible to all," said NCP lawmaker Basanta Baniya.
So as to avoid further controversies regarding the issue, the provincial assembly meeting decided to sanction a place, which will address the demands made by all. "We thought this is the most effective way to avoid controversy and keep everyone satisfied," said a source close to the Chief Minister. However, the lawmakers are yet to discuss the topic.
Earlier, CM Rai had proposed to decentralize the provincial government, which had drawn flak from many. Now the government has proposed a similar concept. Meanwhile, the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has mocked the idea by saying that the government will only confuse the citizens by implementing this concept. Expressing their dissatisfaction over the decision, NC leaders warned that the party will not let it happen.