Agitation halts municipal council meetings in Tarai

RAUTAHAT: Most municipalities in eight districts of Tarai region have failed to conduct their council meetings on time thanks to the ongoing political tension.

Laws require that the municipalities hold Municipal Councils by mid-January to endorse their annual programme and budget plans.

However, municipalities in Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari districts have failed to do the meetings citing ongoing protests in the districts over the recently promulgated Constitution.

It is likely that the municipalities will lose Rs 10 million grant from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development for failing to meet the Minimum Conditions Performance Measures (MCPM) set by the Ministry.

Staff at the municipalities said they could not conduct the meetings as they were unable to work at office for last five months.

"We have been consulting officials, representatives of political parties and community leaders for the Council meeting," Acting Executive Officer of Gaur Municipality, Nagendra Yadav, said, "But, they are not ready to do it."

Those failing to hold the significant meeting besides Gaur include Birgunj and Pokhariya of Parsa; Kalaiya, Gadhimai and Simraungadh of Bara; Garuda of Rautahat; Malangawa and Ishwarpur of Sarlahil; Jaleshwor and Gaushala of Mahottari; Kshireshwornath, Dhanusha Dham, Sabaila and Janakpur of Dhanusha; Mirchaiya and Lahan of Siraha; Rajbiraj, Saptakoshi and Shambhunath of Saptari.

Despite the challenges, Nijgadh and Kolhawi of Bara, Chandranigahapur of Rautahat, Harion and Lalbandi of Sarlahi and Bardibas of Mahottari had conducted Municipal Councils.