Temporary provincial headquarters likely within days

Kathmandu, December 18

The government’s plan to declare temporary provincial headquarters in all seven provinces of the country is in the final stage.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, Minister for Urban Development Dil Nath Giri said the ministry is prepared to recommend the provincial headquarters with some alternative places. “Most likely, the next Cabinet meeting will announce the temporary headquarters,” he added.

The ministry is looking for temporary headquarters which have infrastructure for provincial assembly hall, office and residence for the governor, office and quarter for Provincial Assembly speaker, at least seven ministries and ministerial quarters and other related officers.

In Province 1, Dhankuta, Biratnagar, Itahari or Dharan are under consideration. In Province 2, Janakpur might be the provincial headquarters as there are no contradictory views on this. ‘’The ministry is considering the infrastructure of Janakpur Cigarette Factory for use as temporary offices. The authorities however, have not decided on temporary headquarters of Province 3. “We have received several suggestions such as Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Hetauda and Banepa for that, but the decision will be based on infrastructure availability and the security condition,” he said.

There are no disputes Pokhara as headquarters of Province 4. ‘’We are thinking of using Dipendra Shabha Griha and some buildings around it as the provincial assembly hall and other offices,” Giri said.

There are contradictory views with regard to Province 5 headquarters. People on the province are divided on Butwal or Dang. The headquarters issue in Province 6 also is less disputed.

Surkhet is most likely to be the headquarters of the province. Most likely Dhangadi will be the temporary headquarters of Province 7.

“Announcement of temporary headquarters does not mean fixing of provincial capital, it’s all up to the newly elected Provincial Assembly which will finalise the name and the centre through two-third majority,” Minister Giri said.

As per the constitution, the provincial Assembly must be called within 20 days after announcement of the final result. “It will take at least a month to prepare the infrastructure to use for provincial assembly.

The ministry is also considering the issue along with establishment of temporary headquarters. “We must think about relocating those offices which are currently operating inside those infrastructure”, Minister Giri added. He also informed that the Office of Regional Directorate, which is in the process of dissolving, could be a better option.

The officials of the ministry said that tension in some parts of the country were unnecessarily provoked in the name of temporary headquarters. “We are receiving several calls intending to force us for fix the headquarters to fulfil personal interested, but we have to be above any kind of bias  while recommending headquarters,” Secretary at the Ministry Dipendra Nath Sharma said.