Restructuring of guest quarter to house fire engines draws flak

Rajbiraj, July 19

Rajbiraj residents staged a demonstration against Rajbiraj Municipality’s decision to use a historic guest quarter to house fire engines in Saptari.

The locals protested against the authority’s decision after the office started restructuring the quarter. They argued that the quarter was associated with the district’s history and identity, and it should be conserved.

Earlier, the locals had lodged a complaint at the District Administration Office, Saptari while the administration had written to the municipality office to stop the restructuring. Ram Prit Mandal, a local, complained that the office had continued to carry out restructuring work despite the administration’s directive to stop it.

The guest quarter was used as a guest house for dignitaries since the Panchayat regime. The locals have been demanding that the house be maintained as a guest quarter. Rajbiraj Appellate Court today gave a verdict directing the municipality to halt the construction after hearing the case filed by Mandal on July 11.

Judges duo Madhav Prasad Pokhrel and Umesh Kumar Singh gave the verdict to this effect. Mandal, who is a resident of Rajbiraj-1, had filed a case against the municipality and executive officer Bishnu Prasad Gurung, stating that the municipality was demolishing a structure of historic importance instead of protecting and promoting it.

Then Panchayat and Ministry for Local Development had given authority to the municipality to use the structure as a guest quarter for dignitaries abiding by the authority’s codes.

The guest quarter was neglected with the gradual establishment of luxurious hotels and lodges after the restoration of democracy in the country.

Organising a press meet in Rajbiraj today, the agitating locals ruled out the possibility of using the quarter to house fire engines.