Alok Bohara

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The two main ethnocentric proposals for a federal structure –9 ethnic enclaves [CPN (M)] and the 1000 KM long east-west narrow corridor(s) [e.g., Madhesi parties’ demand for a single Terai state] as state(s)— are the two formal proposals that have drawn much attention of the lawmakers. Many, including this author, are of the view that the restructuring of the state needs to go beyond the cultural sentiment to incorporate many other issues such as: ecological interdependence, economy of scale, ethnic harmony, and comparative resource endowments. To that end, a cooperative federal structure proposed here takes the twelve ethnic regional enclaves and groups them into four states along the line of our river basins – Karnali, Gandaki, Koshi, and Kathmandu. [For consistency, Kathmandu valley state could be renamed as Bagmati] Member regions within each state will send their elected representatives to the state assembly (e.g., Karnali State). These regional representatives can use their ecological comparative advantages –mining, tourism, water, forest, cash crops, hydropower, agro-business, and industries-- for the developmental benefit of the entire population base. Similarly, these regions are forced to form a regional unity under a common state governing apparatus (including an elected governor) to solve wider problems such as: social injustices, across-the-board poverty, migration, joblessness, higher education, drought, food security, deforestation, soil erosion, and flooding.




Nepal Study Center