Even though the government failed to implement its decision to announce 41 municipalities some three years ago, the Sushil Koirala-led Cabinet on Thursday declared 72 new municipalities.
The Cabinet endorsed the proposal tabled by Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Prakash Man Singh in view of developing villages into urban areas.
The government merged 283 Village Development Committees into 72 municipalities as per the recommendation of a panel led by Prof Keshavananda Giri. The number of municipalities has now reached 130, up from 58.
The number of VDCs has fallen from 3,915 to 3,633. Manthali (Ramechhap), Shankharapur (Kathmandu), and Karyabinayak and Champapur (Lalitpur) failed to be on the list of new municipalities owing to disputes.
Even if Thursday’s announcement comes into force, 13 districts, mainly from remote areas, will still be without a valid town while six new ones were announced in Morang and six in Nawalparasi districts. The districts without municipalities are Rukum, Mustang, Manang, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Humla, Kalikot, Mugu, Ramechhap, Dolpa, Solukhumbu, Rasuwa and Bajura. The government announ-ced Urlabari, Belbari, Pathari-Sanischare, Sundar-Dulari, Koshi-Haraicha and Rangeli municipalities in Morang alone.
The newcomers include Taplejung, Urlabari, Myang-lung, Bhojpur, Diktel, Katari, Sambhunath, Hariban, Chan-drapur, Gadhimai, Chautara, Panchkhal, Neelkantha, Shuklagandaki, Bandipur, Kushma, Resunga, Sandhikharka, Kohalpur, Sunwal, Sharada, Mangalsen, Sanfebagar, Kanchan Rup, Mirchaiya, Dhanushadma, Chhireshwornath, Gaushala, Benshishahar, Gaindakot, Rajapur, Jayprithivi, Chandannath and Pyuthan.
Some more are Suryodaya, Shani-Arjun, Kankai, Duhabi-Bhaluwa, Siddhicharan, Beltar-Basaha, Lalbandi, Ishworpur, Thaha, Nijgadh, Khairahani, Chitraban, Chapakot, Rampur, Kawasoti, Devchuli, Bardaghat, Sainamaina, Api, Lumbini Sanskritik, Beni, Devdaha, Tilottama, Krishnanagar, Shivaraj, Dullu, Lamki-Chuha, Attariya, Punabarsa, Belauri and Birtamod.
The announcement comes amid debates on whether new municipalities should be declared before determining the federal model, and in the backdrop of the government’s failure to manage the existing 58 municipalities properly.
“Announcement of municipalities in itself is good news for development. Unless the decision is politically motivated, it aids national development,” said Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission.
Manandhar, a development planner, said the announcement of municipalities will promote urbanisation but will not affect federalism. “If set criteria have not been breached, it will support development,” he said.
In 2011, the government announced 41 municipalities but did not implement the decision citing political reasons.
Ministry officials say the declaration will support federalism and service delivery at the local level. “Federal governments are above local bodies so it will not affect federalism at all,” said Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, the Local Ministry spokesperson.
Municipalities are authorised to collect taxes and spent the money on their own while the government also provides additional funds and technical resources. “A municipality receives at least Rs 30 million from the government in addition to the revenue collected at the local level. Besides, they get technical staffers like engineers,” said Thapaliya.
The new municipalities
25 Kanchan Rup
57 Lumbini Sanskritik
71 Koshi Haraicha
Posted on: 2014-05-09 08:24