DCC, rural municipality at odds over royalty

Published On: August 28, 2017 01:54 AM NPT By: Arjun Oli

NEPALGUNJ, August 28: Disputes have emerged between the District Coordination Committee (DCC), Banke, and the local units over the royalty from natural resources and mines in the district. 

Shortly after the DCC called a public tender to collect royalty of rocks, stones and sand from the local rivers and lakes, Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality moved the court demanding to halt the royalty collection process from the DCC.  Responding to the move, the court has also ordered the DCC to put the royalty collection process on hold for the time being and both the parties have been called for discussions. 

The Banke DCC had announced the public tender on July 26. However, Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality has claimed that its their right to call for a tender and get the royalty from the collection of river materials as per the constitutional provision.

Deputy chairperson of the rural municipality, Dhani Kumari Khatri filed a writ petition at the Nepalgunj High Court demanding to scrap the tender process started by the DCC.  Responding to the writ petition, judge Ganesh Prasad Baral ordered the Banke DCC to halt the tender process.

"After going through the writ petition, it seems there is a need for additional discussions with both sides. Therefore, the public tender called by the DCC should be put on hold for the time being," reads the court order. The court has ordered both parties to appear before the court administration on August 30.

The court has also ordered the DCC to appear with any evidence within 15 days to challenge the interim order. 

Deputy chairperson Khatri said that the constitution has ensured the local units to protect and manage their natural resources. She reiterated that this gives the local unit the right to collect the royalty.

However, DCC officials said, "The constitution only says that the local units should protect and manage their natural resources. Among the 22 rights given to the rural municipalities by the constitution, there is nothing mentioned about royalty."

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