LBRC seeks bigger mandate or govt's help

Kathmandu, November 18

The Local Bodies Restructuring Commission has sought the government’s help in solving the problems its technical committees are facing in eight Tarai districts from Saptari to Parsa.

The constitutional body, which is mandated to determine the number and boundaries of the local bodies, said the government should either help solve the problems or give it the mandate to determine the local bodies in these districts without having to rely on the district technical assistance committees. During a meeting with Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development Hit Raj Pandey at Singha Durbar today, LBRC members complained that DTACs had not been able to prepare even preliminary reports in these eight districts due to Madhesi parties’ obstruction.

“We asked the minister for his help to resolve the problems in eight Tarai districts,” said LBRC member Sunil Ranjan Singh. He added that the commission had asked Pandey to help pacify the disgruntled political parties and groups or change the mandate for eight districts, where the Madhesi parties are obstructing the commission from performing its duties. According to Singh, who is also the LBRC coordinator for Province No 2, the commission will prepare reports of those districts without relying on DTACs, if mandate is given to it. He said Pandey assured the commission of his help and said he would talk to the prime minister about LBRC’s new proposal.

“We have asked DTACs and local development officers to send their reports as per the mandate given to them,” Pandey told THT. He said the ministry had asked DTACs to include the suggestions of the disgruntled parties and send the reports as soon as possible. He said the government did not have much time to wait for the cooperation of the protesting parties. Federal Alliance Spokesperson Om Gurung said the agitating forces would not cooperate with DTACs unless their demand of constitution amendment was addressed. He alleged that the government and three major parties were not serious to amend the constitution. “Instead of addressing the problems, they are focusing on elections,” said Gurung.

The LBRC has stated that 61 districts have so far sent their reports and the commission has asked the remaining DTACs, excluding those of eight districts of Province No 2, to send their reports soon. Meanwhile, the LBRC has sent back reports of 35 districts to the respective DTACs, which failed to meet the conditions set by the commission. LBRC Chief Balananda Paudel said the commission had sent back reports to DTACs for necessary correction.