Four provinces still struggling to fix their capitals, names

Published On: August 12, 2019 07:01 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Nearly two years have passed since the provincial assemblies convened their first meetings but four of the seven provinces are still unable to fix their capitals and names.

Only province 4, 6 and 7 have so far fixed their names and capitals. The chief ministers of provinces 1, 2, 3 and 5 have time and again announced in public to settle these issues at the earliest, but in vain.

There is a serious dispute among political actors in Province 1 over whether to make Biratnagar the permanent capital. In addition to the dispute over the location, political actors are also divided over whether to name the province after ethnic identity or geographical landmark that this province possesses. 

A section of lobbyists have demanded naming the province as Kirant as well as Limbuwan, while other groups have dismissed such idea. Those arguing in favor of naming the province behind geographical landmark have advocated for names such as Sagarmatha and Koshi.

On Sunday, Province 2 initiated a formal process to fix its permanent capital and name. The formal process started after Secretary at the Provincial Assembly Secretariat Ranjit Yadav issued a notice calling for proposals for the capital and name. 

Janakpur has been named as provisional capital of Province 2. Although there are not much differences among political parties whether to keep Janakpur as the capital city, they are sharply divided over the names of the province. Political leaders have floated various names such as Mithila, Madhes and even Janaki.

There is dispute both over the name and the capital in Province 3. While there is dispute among political parties whether to retain Hetauda as the permanent capital city, the parties are also divided over whether the name the province along ethnic lines. A section of political parties have demanding naming Province 2 as Tamsaling or Newa Mandal—something others have rejected. 

Although there is no serious dispute over the name of Province 5, there is a serious differences among political parties over the the permanent capital. Parties are divided over whether to keep Butwal or name Dang as permanent capital. 

However, Province 4, 6 and 7 have successfully resolved all their internal disputes and fixed capital city as well as names of the provinces. While Province 4 has fixed Pokhara as capital city and Gandaki as its name, Province 6 has determined Surkhet as its capital city and Karnali as its name. Likewise, Province 7 has chosen Sudur Pashchim as its name and Dhangadhi as its permanent capital city.

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