Even three years after the Sudurpaschim Province fixed its permanent headquarters in Godawari Municipality, Kailali, but it has not been able to acquire the land required to build necessary infrastructures for ministers and other government offices.
Since the federal government remained indifferent to issue land tenure rights, the provincial government has not been able to forward the construction work of required infrastructures at the designated places of the provincial capital.
On September 28, 2018, the Provincial Assembly of Sudurpaschim had fixed its provincial capital in Godawari Municipality, Kailali with two-thirds majority. The same meeting has also passed the proposal of naming the province Sudurpaschim.
State Minister for Physical Infrastructure Development Chun Kumari Chaudhary said that the construction of physical infrastructure has not gained momentum because the federal government had not issued the land tenure rights to the provincial government.
Minister Chaudhary, who is also a resident of Godavari Municipality, said that a detailed project report (DPR) was being prepared after conducting a survey.
“Preparations are underway to move ahead to build necessary infrastructure in the permanent capital,” she said.
Since the provincial capital lacks necessary infrastructures for ministries and other government offices, provincial assembly, ministries and government offices are being operated from the temporary capital Dhangadhi.
Work is also underway to build infrastructures in the temporary capital, Dhangadi.
A capital development project has been formulated for the implementation of permanent capital of the province. It has been informed that DPR is being carried out under the same project.
The locals of Godawari have also expressed their disappointment over the delay in the implementation of establishing the municipality as the provincial capital of Sudurpaschim.
“We were very happy when Godawari was declared provincial capital,” said Prem Bhandari, ward chairperson of Godavari Municipality-4, adding that delays in building infrastructure had led to frustration among the locals.
As a people’s representative, Bhandari had submitted a memorandum to the provincial government twice and met ministers several times, asking to facilitate the implementation part. However, nothing had changed within these years, he shared.
Lately, the locals were hopeful after Dirgha Sodari and Chun Kumari Chaudhary had been appointed as the Minister for Physical Infrastructure Development and state Minister respectively.
Minister Sodari was elected to the provincial assembly from Constituency No. 4 of Godawari Municipality and State Minister Chaudhary is a permanent resident of Godavari Municipality-6.
The provincial government has been allocating a budget to forward the construction work of the infrastructures in the capital.
In the Fiscal Year 2019/20, the government had allocated a budget of Rs. 50 million for the protection of the capital, wall construction and feasibility study.
Similarly, a budget of Rs. 27.4 million was allocated in fiscal year 2020/21 for environmental impact assessment, for DPR, among others.
In the current Fiscal Year, the provincial government has allocated a budget of Rs. 27.2 million to make the capital infrastructure development committee effective, conduct environmental impact assessment and prepare DPR.
The land acquisition process has not gained momentum as the land allocated for the headquarters lies in forest areas.
Two cases were filed in the Supreme Court against the provincial government’s decision to encroach forest. Both the cases are still sub-judice in the apex court, said chief attorney general of the province Kulananda Upadhyaya.
However, the work was not delayed due to the case but because the government had not issued the right to use the land, he said, adding that the government of Nepal had not signed the file submitted by the state government for land tenure.
Source : TRN,