Dhangadi, September 27
Locals of Dhangadi, Kailali hit the street in hordes today and brought the city to a standstill with protest against the proposed name and headquarters of the province.
On Tuesday, the special committee set up by the provincial government to recommend the name and headquarters for the province submitted its report to the Provincial assembly suggesting that the province be called Far-west Province and its permanent headquarters be sited away from Dhangadi, the temporary headquarters of the province for now, in Teghari of Godawari Municipality.
Discussion on the proposal started yesterday.
Protesting of the recommendation, the locals took to the street from early morning today. While marketplaces, factories and education institutions remained shut, vehicles stayed off the road. Demonstrators chanting slogans against the provincial government didn’t allow even two-wheelers and e-rickshaws to ply in the main bazaar area. Amidst the protest, security was beefed up outside the provincial ministries, ministerial quarters and marketplaces.
Even local representatives and political leaders participated in the agitation. Dhangadi sub-metropolis Chief Nrip Bahadur Bada accused the provincial government of plotting to clear a huge swathe of forest area in the name of setting up the provincial capital. “The state has already spent millions to develop infrastructure in Dhangadi, so declaring Godawari the headquarters now doesn’t add up and will only entail additional fund to develop the required infrastructure there,” he said, accusing the provincial government and its committee set up to recommend the provincial headquarters of coming under the influence of the forest and land mafia.
Similarly, demonstration was also staged in Doti seeking the provincial headquarters in the district today. The demonstration organised at the initiative of Doti Chamber of Commerce and Industry had concluded in a corner meeting in front of the district administration office.
The proposal, however, brought cheers to Godawari folks. A rally welcoming the proposal was taken out at the initiative of Godawari Municipality which saw participation of hundreds of locals.
A version of this article appears in print on September 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.