Analysis

Sudurpaschim State crying for its permanent capital

Shiddharaj Bhatta

sudur-pashchim

Dhangadhi, 5 March – Sudurpaschim (Far West) State has yet to get its permanent capital after five years of the State Assembly’s decision in this regard.

Earlier, the State had endorsed with two-thirds majority the proposal to name Godawari of Kailali as its permanent capital. The location for the project is a forest area between Godawari municipality-3 and 4.

When asked, chief secretary of the state government Narayan Prasad Bidari said they were waiting for the central government’s respond to their request to manage the lands for the project.

“In this regard, talks were held at political level during Prime Minister’s Dhangadhi visit. Necessary process will be initiated once the centre gives a nod,” he said.

The issue has landed in the Supreme Court however. A writ petition has been filed in the court challenging the State Assembly’s decision.

Responding to the petition, the court has issued a show-cause order to the defendants. The State has submitted a response to the court’s order, said Bidari. The plaintiffs had argued that establishment of the capital would contribute to the destruction of Chure forests, corridors of the Mohana river and biodiversity in the future.

The stakeholder groups have been arguing that building the state capital at Godawari by clearing the forest would lead to denudation in the Chure area, adversely affecting the Mohana River corridor as it would destroy the bio-diversity in the upstream area in the future.

Coordinator of the special recommendation committee formed to suggest the place and name of the permanent capital, Tara Lama Tamang, said that the place which has been recommended for building the state capital is a scrub land and infrastructures could be built without harming the environment.

“The State Assembly has done its job of fixing the place for building the state capital and the government is also said to be doing its job,” Tamang, who is also the chief whip of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) parliamentary party in the State Assembly, said.

Godawari area
Godawari area is around 18 kilometres north from Dhangadhi, the present temporary state capital. There is a religious site three kilometers towards north from here on the foothill of the Chure hills. It is the main transit point leading to the hilly districts of the Far-west State. RSS

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