Locals unhappy over delineation of State 6

- PRAKASH ADHIKARI, SURKHET

May 8, 2016-

Many people of the Bheri-Karnali region have expressed dissatisfaction at the demarcation of federal states, saying that keeping Banke and Bardiya districts out of Province 6 was to deny their identity and capacity.

In August last year, people had protested for 13 days in Birendranagar, the district headquarters of Surkhet, demanding a separate state. Bheri-Karnali was then included in the far-western province (now Province 7, then 6). Four people had died in Surkhet and another in Jumla when the agitation turned violent. Their demand was somehow addressed by putting Bheri-Karnali in Province 6 but not everyone is happy.

Locals of Surkhet say that the government failed to honour the identity and capability while announcing the province. Hotelier Bakhat Bahadur Budha of Birendranagar said many local residents have expressed dissatisfaction over the state delineation. “Though we got a state, we are still unhappy,” said Budha.

Deepa Bohora of Rakamkarnali in Dailekh echoed a similar sentiment. “Our house is in Dailekh but the farmland is in Tarai [Banke-Bardiya]. We stay both in Dailekh and the Tarai,” said Bohora, worrying that they might have to pay additional taxes while travelling between the places. 

People still have the hope that the Federal Commission will change the delineation.

Province 6 comprises the entire Karnali zone (Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla and Dolpa districts) and the surrounding districts of Dailekh, Jajarkot, Surkhet, Salyan and parts of Rukum. It is widely assumed that Birendranagar will be the provincial capital just as it was the headquarters of the mid-western region.

Assistant Professor at Mid-Western University Bishnu Kumar Khadka said the state demarcation is not scientific. Many of the districts in the state are listed as food-insecure. Former MWU dean Pitamber Dhakal said the geographical difficulties are the main challenge for the province. 

“The boundaries should be changed for people’s good and the Centre should not interfere,” said Dhakal.

Published: 08-05-2016 08:15

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