Nepal | April 21, 2019

Sudur-Paschim’s capital yet to be finalised as apex court issues writ seeking clarification

Tekendra Deuba

A view of Teghari Community Forest in Godavari Municipality of Kailali district, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The area was designated to build the capital of Sudur-Paschim Province. Photo: Tekendra Deuba/THT

DHANGADHI: Almost seven months have passed since Godavari Municipality in Kailali district was designated the temporary capital of Sudur-Paschim Province.

But the decision — taken by the two-third majority provincial government, on September 29, 2019 to build physical infrastructure in Teghari Community Forest in wards 2 and 4 of the municipality — is yet to be executed due to a legal barrage as a case has been filed against the government’s decision at the Supreme Court, asking that infrastructure development not be allowed in the forest area.

Sudur-Paschim Province Assembly Speaker Arjun Bahadur Thapa said that it has become too late to execute the decision on province capital as the Supreme Court has issued a writ against the provincial government seeking clarification. Speaker Thapa also said a clarification has already been forwarded to the apex court through Nepal government’s legal advisors.

Sudur-Paschim Province’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Law and former spokesperson of the provincial government, Prakash Bahadur Shah, asserted that the court has only sought clarification from the government; no stay order has been issued.

Minister Shah said that the Ministry of Land Reform and Ministry of Forest have already written to the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) seeking advice.

Likewise, the provincial government has also written to the Province’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Works through the OCM to carry out preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the forest picked to develop the province capital.

Minister Shah expressed his hope that the court would soon give a green signal to move ahead with the procedure to build the province capital in Godavari.

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