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Infrastructure development in Baglung stagnate due to border dispute


Nepalnews
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2023 Jun 15, 12:25, Dhorpatan

A border dispute that emerged five years ago when Bhume Rural Municipality of Rukum East constructed a welcome gate at Patihalne in the Baglung area has yet to be resolved.

With the border dispute remaining unsolved, the tasks of infrastructure development have not progressed in the potential tourism sites.

Patihalne is not only the bordering area of two districts but also a territory connecting Gandaki and Lumbini provinces. The dispute has not been resolved despite efforts from the stakeholders of both districts to bring it to a conclusion in the past.

A task force was formed two years back to address the issue. But, it could not bring anything in concrete. Though the people's representatives from both districts agreed to not advance any infrastructural development works in the area until the dispute was resolved, Bhume Rural Municipality was continuing the construction of a road towards Baglung territory, said chairperson of Nisikhola Rural Municipality, Surya Bahadur Ghartimagar.

He further shared that Nisikhola Rural Municipality has allocated a budget of Rs 500,000 in the current fiscal year in a way to carry on infrastructure development works by concluding the disputes.

Chairperson Ghartimagar went on to say that Bhume Rural Municipality however was continuing with its previous plan without resolving the dispute.

'Earlier there was no border dispute. When Nisikhola Rural Municipality advanced developing structures around the Rig Lake and constructing a road from Panihalne to the lake to draw the attention of tourists, then Bhume RM started claiming ownership of the area'. Ghartimagar commented.

'This is the land of Baglung. Folks of the Baglung district have been utilizing the land for a long. Several efforts were made to fix the dispute. It was agreed not to advance any development works in the area from either side. But, Bhume breached the agreement and continued with the construction works.

Pan Bahadur BK, a local of Nisikhola Rural Municipality, said residents of Nisikhola had been utilizing the area as grazing land when the Mid Hill Highway has not connected the two districts.

Gharti said Rukum started claiming the area of their own when there was an increasing inflow of tourists in the Rig Lake. 'There was no mobility in the area in the past. Only shepherds and herders were seen in the place. It is cold in all seasons. The business has started in Patihalne now. There is a rising flow of tourists in the area these days. How we can accept the claim of another rural municipality as we have been utilizing the land for a long? The State should fix the debate', he asserted. ---

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infrastructure development Baglung border dispute Bhume Rural Municipality Rukum East
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