Call for making Hetauda as Province-3 capital gathers momentum ahead of polls

HETAUDA: The nation will be electing new members of the federal and state parliaments when it goes to the polls on November 26 and December 7. These elections are taking place as per the country's new federal setup, and the debate has started regarding the new state capitals.

Hotel Entrepreneurs Association, Makawanpur and the Narayani Transport Entrepreneurs Association, Makawanpur have joined this debate, proposing to offer free food, accommodation and transport for a certain period to the State Assembly legislators and the state government officials if Hetauda was to be made the capital of Province No 3.

This decision was made at the initiative of all sections including the industry and business community in Hetauda during a discussions programme organised here on Saturday.

The programme was held to discuss on infrastructures necessary for Province capital.

Bhagirath Sharma, the president of Hotel Entrepreneurs Association Makawanpur, expressed the commitment on behalf his association for providing free food and accommodation services to the elected State Assembly legislators and office-bearers if Hetauda was declared as the capital of Province -3.

He said Hetauda has adequate number of hotels for that and the association would play a constructive role in making the city the state capital.

Likewise, president of Narayani Transport Entrepreneurs Association, Badri Prasad Chaulagain said his association was ready to facilitate in making Hetauda the state capital by providing any kind of vehicle for transport.

He argued that Hetauda should be made the state capital as it was connected by road to all the districts of the province and also had the necessary physical infrastructure for the same.

President of the Hetauda Industries Association, Nawaraj Aryal said there were many vacant buildings in the Hetauda Industrial Zone which could be used for housing the offices of the state government and parliament for short term.

Coordinator of the Makawanpur District Coordination Committee, Raghunath Khulal said the coordination committee had on 20 August itself decided to take initiatives for making Hetauda the capital of Province-3.

He said Hetauda was fit to be made the state capital as it is centrally located, has road connectivity and the required infrastructures and land, suitable geographical location and a congenial district-level political understanding.

Local political party leaders have said 75 per cent of the infrastructures required for the city to be the state capital were in a ready state in Hetauda Sub-metropolitan City.

The city currently hosts 19 regional offices. They opine that what is required was only to declare the city the state capital and hang the sign boards bearing the names of the various state offices and secretariats in the available buildings.

Nepali Congress district leader Pradip Koirala said his party would take the initiation to make Hetauda the state capital as the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have spoken in favour of this.

He argued that the city had adequate open grounds, big state guest house and buildings for setting up offices and construction of the required infrastructures, noting Hetauda was also located at an appropriate place in view of risk of natural disasters.

CPN-UML Makawanpur district leader and also proportional representation candidate for State Assembly, Juneli Shrestha said that that Hetauda should be made the state capital was the common view of all the election candidates from the leftist alliance. She pledged that her party would play a special role to that end.

Shrestha also argued that Hetauda should be made the state capital as it has most of the regional offices and the regional headquarters of the security bodies – the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force.

CPN (Maoist Centre) district leader Prakash Poudel also reiterated that Hetauda should be made the state capital as it has all the prerequisites for a state capital.

He said the under-construction Nijgadh International Airport was one hour's drive from Hetauda and construction of the fast track up to Kathmandu would be reducing travel time to one hour from here.

Meanwhile, the pressure group that has been informally formed here to lobby for Hetauda as state capital has stated that it would organize pressure-creating programmes after the elections if Hetauda was not declared as the state capital of Province-3.