Province 5 named Lumbini, headquarters in Dang

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The Provincial Assembly of Province 5 has finally passed proposals to name the province and fix its permanent headquarters in the midst of opposition protest. While the assembly unanimously decided to name the province Lumbini, the proposal on Dang Deukhuri as its headquarters was settled through vote.

File – Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel presents the budget prioritising infrastructure development and tourism sector, at Provincial Assembly, on Sunday, June 16, 2019. Photo: RSS

It is the only province whose provisional capital is not its permanent headquarters. But it will be a few years before the headquarters is effectively shifted to Deukhuri from Butwal, as it will take time to build the requisite infrastructure to house the government machinery.

“The Office of the Chief Minister, ministers of the provincial government, Provincial Assembly and the offices of provincial secretaries will stay in Butwal until necessary infrastructure is built in Deukhuri,” said the government Spokesperson and Physical Infrastructure Development Minister Baijanath Chaudhary.

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Earlier on Friday, Internal Affairs and Law Minister Kul Prasad KC, on behalf of the provincial government, had tabled a proposal seeking to designate the province as Lumbini and locate its permanent headquarters in Deukhuri valley of Dang.

The proposal had caused a huge commotion in the entire province. Angry PA members of the Nepali Congress had even resorted to vandalism in the PA, accusing the government of ignoring the report and recommendation of a special committee, technicians and experts and ‘hurting the feelings of the population of the province’ while fixing the headquarters.

The proposal was passed with two-thirds majority after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) issued a whip and put the proposal to vote. The Provincial Assembly has 87 members, including the speaker. Of them, 82 were present in the assembly today.

Sixty-nine voted in favour of locating the permanent headquarters in Deukhuri, while 13 voted against the proposal.

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NC Provincial Assembly Parliamentary Party leader Birendra Kumar Kanaudiya spoke before the voting began. Kanaudiya questioned the practicality of the government decision to shift the headquarters to Deukhuri, spending billions of rupees to build new infrastructure when the national economy had taken a hit from the pandemic and the government hadn’t even been able to develop required infrastructure at local levels. Source THT


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