This issue must not be kept on hold for long. The political parties should also not unnecessarily flare up this issue
The political parties, elected representatives at the local level and provincial assemblies and even general people have been divided over where their provincial headquarters should be located. Even the leaders and cadres of the same political parties have also been split over the locations of provincial capitals as the government did not fix their headquarters before the general election considering a backlash during the elections. Except for the Province No-4, where the Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City has been accepted as its future capital, the political parties and people have reached no consensus on other provinces. Such a dilemma has led the people in a state of confusion, leading them to take to the streets demanding that one or the other city of their choice be declared temporarily or permanently as the provincial capital. In Province No-1, the political parties, people and business community have been divided over the future capital of the province. The people in Biratnagar are insisting that the metropolitan city be declared as its capital while others in Dhankuta, which used to be the eastern regional centre till the country was declared a republic, are clamouring for it as the provincial capital and others in Sunsari are in favour of Itahari.
Even the political parties and lobbyists in Province No-2 are also divided over where its provincial capital should be. Janakpur and Birgunj are contesting for having a status of the provincial capital. In Province No-3, major political parties are also lobbying either for Kathmandu, Makwanpur or in Kavre’s Dhulikhel. Butwal and Dang’s Tulsipur are the major contestants for provincial capital of Province No-5. Elected members of the Province No-7 are also divided over whether its provincial capital should be in Dhangadhi or in Doti, which served as the far-western regional headquarters in the past. Province No-6 is also not free from controversy. Some are insisting that its capital be set up in Jumla and others are lobbying for Surkhet, a regional headquarters till the country embraced a federal structure.
People are resorting to pressure tactics to establish their cities as the provincial capitals, hoping that the move will help their area towards prosperity. But the government has yet to make an official call to this effect. The government should not waste any more time to declare one of the contesting cities as temporary provincial capital in each province. It is the provincial assemblies which will take a final decision as where to establish the provincial headquarters. Without declaring those cities under consideration as provincial capitals no Pradesh Chief (Governor) can administer the oath of office and secrecy to the newly elected Pradesh Assembly members, chief minister and the council of ministers. A high-level body has also been formed to look into all aspects, including the availability of physical conditions and accessibility, so that the proposed cities can be declared as temporary headquarters of the concerned provinces. This issue must not be kept on hold for long. The political parties should also not unnecessarily flare up this issue as the provincial assemblies will be the sole authority to take a final call on where to set up such headquarters.
The arrest of fifteen people by the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police on the charge of illegally selling libido-enhancing pills and other health products suggests that a big racket is active to push such products which have dubious value. Those found to be selling the suspicious products are just agents working for a commission on the amount of sales they can make. The CIB raided twelve stores in the Kathmandu Valley and nabbed the peddlers. The CIB has carried out coordinated raids on the stores operating under various names. The stores may be registered but their licenses did not permit the sale of these products.
Some of the claims made for those products included breast enlargement or lifting and sexual power enhancement. The arrestees have been rightly charged with fraud. But the market being operated by those companies and products with dubious value under various schemes including networking business is quite large. This means the CIB should intensify its vigilance and actions against others still at large.
A version of this article appears in print on January 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.