Country to have 719 village and municipal councils

KATHMANDU. Ten months after its formation, the Local Level Restructuring Commission has finally submitted its report to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The LLRC recommends 719 local units in the federal set-up.

In its 1,700-page report, the commission has restructured the local bodies into four metropolitan cities, 12 sub-metropolitan cities, 241 municipal and 462 village councils. PM Dahal, who had been reluctant to receive the report, accepted it on Friday following continuous pressure from the commission that completed its work in the third week of December.

According to the report, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chitwan and Pokhara will be the metropolises. At present, Kathmandu is the country’s sole metropolis. Lalitpur and Pokhara are the existing sub-metropolises while Bharatpur is a municipality. The commission has merged Pokhara and Lekhnath to form a metropolis and Bharatpur and Ratnanagar have been merged to create the Chitwan metropolis.

When the report is implemented, the country will have 12 sub-metropolitan cities including two each in Sunsari and Dang districts. Other eight sub-metropolises will be one each in Morang, Dhanusha, Bara, Makwanpur, Parsa, Rupandehi, Banke and Kailali districts. “This is a crucial document for implementing the constitution,” PM Dahal said while receiving the report in Singha Durbar.

The PM directed Minister for Federal Affairs Hitraj Pandey and Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi to make preparations to implement the report. LLRC Chairman Balananda Poudel said the commission completed its task three months before the deadline as requested by the government. He also urged the PM to implement the report as soon as possible. Once the report comes into force, the existing 217 municipalities and 3,117 village development committees will be replaced by 719 local structures across the country.

According to Article 303 of the constitution, the existing local bodies will remain until their restructuring. LLRC officials claim that the article means the existing local units get automatically replaced by the new ones once the report is submitted.

Along with demarcation, the report has fixed the headquarters of each local unit and determined their service centres, at least one in each VDC and one in each ward of the existing municipalities. The government is preparing to consult with the dissenting Madhesi parties before implementing the recommendations. The regional parties had reservations about the commission ever since it was formed in March last year.

Meanwhile, Sunil Ranjan Singh, a member of the commission, has registered his note of dissent saying that restructuring in the eight districts of Province 2 was done without consultation with the Madhesi parties. He claimed that the commission’s terms of reference clearly state that the consent of political parties is necessary for local level restructuring.

proposed configuration
– Total number of local units: 719
– Municipal Councils: 241
– Village Councils: 462
– Metropolitan cities: 4 (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chitwan and Pokhara)
– Sub-metropolitan cities : 12 (Biratnagar, Janakpur, Simraungadh, Hetauda, Birgunj, Itahari, Dharan, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Tulsipur, Ghorahi and Tikapur)
– Existing: 217 municipalities and 3,117 village development committees

Published: 08-01-2017 09:05, The Kathmandu Post

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