LBRC report proposes 719 local bodies

Kathmandu, January 6

The Local Bodies Restructuring Commission today submitted its report to the government, recommending creation of 719 local bodies across the country.

The LBRC, which had complained that it was not getting time from the prime minister to submit its, report finally submitted a 1,718-page report today to Minister of Local Development Hitraj Pandey in the presence of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Singha Durbar.

Of the 719 local bodies, 256 (35 per cent) are in 20 districts of Madhes. As per the report, there will be four metropolitan cities, 12 sub-metropolitan cities, 241 municipalities and 462 village councils.

The local bodies will be divided into 6,553 wards.

According to the report, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lalitpur will be metropolitan cites. Similarly, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Hetauda, Gadhimai, Birgunj, Itahari, Dharan, Butwal, Tulsipur, Ghorahi, Tikapur and Nepalgunj are sub-metropolitan cities.

The commission, which has two more months left do its work, will prepare blueprints of special clusters and autonomous zones according to the ToR given by the government.

The PM sought suggestions from the line ministry on how to implement the report.

LBRC, which wanted to submit the report to the PM earlier, got an appointment with him today and finally submitted the report.

According to the provision of the constitution of Nepal, the new local bodies will come into existence , once the report is formally received by the Cabinet and published in the gazette.

Taking to The Himalayan Times, LBRC Chair Balananda Paudel said the new local bodies would come into existence only after the report was published in the gazette.

On the occasion, the PM said the report was a milestone as far as the implementation of the constitution was concerned.

“We were waiting for a conducive political environment to receive the report because ever since the LBRC was formed all the matters regarding the local bodies were settled on the basis of political consensus. We ware in touch with the opposition and the agitating Madhesi parties on this matter,” he added.

The PM said the Cabinet was also finalising a document to detail the rights of centre, provinces and local bodies as per the spirit of constitution.

Coordinator of the Federal Alliance Upendra Yadav said the report was prepared unilaterally by the LBRC without visiting a dozen or so districts of Madhes which could escalate conflicts.

LBRC member Sunil Ranjan Singh wrote his note of dissent on the report, saying the report did not create local bodies in Madhes and Tharuhat on the basis of population. He added that the LBRC did not follow its criteria to create local bodies in hills including accessibility issues.

Singh said he had opposed the revised terms of reference fixed by the government for the LBRC and he still stuck to it.