Lekhnath locals launch campaign to reinstate Lekhnath Municipality

Bijay Nepal 05 Jul 2023
Lekhnath locals launch campaign to reinstate Lekhnath Municipality

POKHARA: The locals of Lekhnath in Pokhara Metropolitan City have started a signature campaign for the reinstatement of Lekhnath Municipality.

Lekhnath Municipality was merged into Pokhara Sub-metropolitan City to form Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City in May 2017, before the first local body election following the promulgation of the new constitution. The Municipal Assembly, held on June 26, 2018, unanimously decided to remove ‘Lekhnath’ from the name.

The locals initiated the signature campaign during the anniversary celebration of the Lekhnath Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lekhnath on Wednesday.

Sanjeev Poudel, one of the campaigners, stated that they have started the campaign for the reinstatement of Lekhnath Municipality because Pokhara Metropolitan City is neglecting the Lekhnath area in terms of budget and infrastructure development. “Now that the campaign has been launched, we won’t backtrack. Lekhnath Municipality is needed to devise a new model of development,” he added.

People supporting the campaign claim that Lekhnath has been neglected in terms of budget allocation and infrastructure development since its merger with Pokhara Sub-metropolitan City. They say that it has recently been transformed into a dumping site.

The signature campaign held in the presence of Chief Minister of Gandaki Province, Surendra Raj Pandey, holds great significance. However, Pandey, who was attending the anniversary celebration of the LCCI as the Chief Guest, was not aware of the campaign.

A member of LCCI mentioned that despite Lekhnath now being a metropolis, it lags behind in terms of development, budget, and programs. The locals, who had been informally expressing their grievances in various forums, have now started a campaign.

According to the organizers, approximately 3,000 signatures were collected on the first day, with the goal of reaching 100,000 signatures. The campaigners plan to organize programs at different intersections of Lekhnath City every Saturday to garner support from the local people for their campaign.

Although it is not clear who else is involved in the campaign, journalists and some businesspeople were actively participating in the signature campaign on Wednesday.

Ward 33 of Pokhara Municipality encompasses the entire Bharatpokhari Village Development Committee. It is the largest ward of Pokhara Metropolitan City in terms of area. Additionally, 18 wards of Lekhnath Municipality were merged with the then Pokhara Sub-metropolitan City. Wards 26-33 of Pokhara Metropolitan City were previously part of Lekhnath Municipality.

Lekhnath Municipality was established in 2001.

“While neighboring Rupa Rural Municipality receives hundreds of millions in budget and other allocations every year, Lekhnath has to rely on the metropolitan city for everything. This must stop,” Poudel said.

Published On: 05 Jul 2023


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