DHANGADHI, Sept 29: Province 7 has been named Far-western Province from Friday with Godawari in Kailali district as its capital.
A decision to this effect was taken on Friday despite friction over the choices.
A two-third majority of the 53-member provincial assembly voted for Godawari as the provincial capital and Far-western Province as its name. Out of the 53 members 38 were present at the voting. All the members present voted for the proposal.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party commands 39 votes in the provincial assembly. The speaker, who is also from the ruling party, did not participate in the vote.
But 12 members from the Nepali Congress and two from the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal did not agree with the proposal and they boycotted the vote.
With this, Province 7 becomes the third province to finalize its name and choice of provincial capital, after Provinces 4 and 6. Earlier, Province 4 was named Gandaki Province with Pokhara as its capital. Similarly, Province 6 has been named Karnali Province and Surkhet chosen as its capital.
NCP lawmaker Tara Lama tabled the proposal to name the province Far-western and pick Godawari as its capital. Bir Bhan Chaudhary and Shanti Nepali seconded the proposal.
The province, which comprises nine districts—seven in the hills and two in the southern plains, was divided over its name and choice of capital. Although the previous regional headquarters was in Dipayal, the then Deuba government had named Dhangadhi as the temporary provincial capital.
The ruling party’s decision to name Godawari the provincial capital has been criticized, with environmental experts pointing out that large forest areas would have to be cleared and a massive amount of physical infrastructure constructed. The cost would run into billions.