Local and provincial governments accused of haphazardly declaring holidays

Published On: September 18, 2018 07:41 AM NPT By: Devendra Basnet and Lokendra Khanal

DANG/RUKUM, Sept 18: Province 5 declared a public holiday on May 29 on the occasion of Republic Day. 

However, the District Administration Office (DAO) directed the offices under the central government to resume their operation against the decision of the provincial government.

This left the people confused and made them think whether to observe holiday or not. Following the announcement of the province, various educational institutions and other authorities remained closed on that day while the offices under the central government were open. 

Stating that the central government has already cancelled holiday on the Republic Day, Chief District Officer Gajendra Bahadur Shrestha said, "We decided to open the office as we can't afford to go against the decision of the central government."

Meanwhile, Baijnath Chaudhary, spokesperson of the province, claimed that the provincial government does not need to seek permission from the central government to declare holidays. Earlier, the province had announced holiday on the occasion of Id, one of the major festivals of Muslims. Nevertheless, the offices under the central government remained open on that day as well.

Likewise, Dangisharan Rural Municipality decided to declare a holiday on Sunday due to Tharu's second biggest festival, Atwari. Following the announcement, all the educational institutions remained closed despite the fact that the province had not announced holiday on that day. 

Earlier, schools had remained closed during Janai Purnima and Krishna Janmasthami too. Neither the provincial government nor the central government had announced holiday on both occasions. Almost all districts of the province are in confusion over when to observe holidays.

Almost all schools and government offices remained shut in Banfikot Rural Municipality of Rukum on Krishna Janmasthami. In the past, the government always marked this day as public holiday. However, there was no holiday this year. However, that did not stop the organizations and institutions from observing holiday.

Since the government adopted federalism, local units have been announcing holidays, as per their wish, creating confusion among the people. 

Indrajit Tharu, parliament member of Province 5, accused the provincial government of discriminating against certain groups of people while declaring holidays. 
"Public holidays should be announced considering the presence of various caste, groups and communities in the province," said Tharu.


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