KATHMANDU, April 28: Nepali Congress (NC) has proposed a seven-province model, taking regional interdependency, economic viability, geographic proximity and convenience, and population ratio as the major bases for state restructuring.
The NC proposal comes a day after the largest party, UCPN (Maoist), floated a proposal Thursday with 10 federal units and one center-administered zone.
NC leaders proposed their model at a meeting of major political parties held at the CA hall at New Baneshwar.
The second largest party in the Constituent Assembly (CA) has proposed to entrust the assembly of the province concerned with the final authority to choose its name on its own.
Under the NC proposal, Province 1 covers all the districts of Mechi and Koshi Zones and three districts -- Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga and Khotang -- in Sagarmatha Zone.
The tarai region stretching from Saptarai to Parsa along with three districts -- Udaypur, Sindhuli and Makwanpur -- that fall in the Chure range are covered by Province 2.
The hill districts of Janakpur Zone, all the districts in Bagmati Zone and Chitwan district fall in Province 3 whereas Province 4 stretches from Nawalparasi to Bardiya (minus Chitwan) in the Tarai region.
Province 5 covers Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zZones and the hill districts of Lumbini Zone. Province 6 has Karnali Zone and the hilly parts of Rapti and Bheri Zones. Province 7 in the far west comprised Seti and Mahakali Zones.
The NC has proposed to leave the existing 75 districts intact while transforming the country from a unitary to a federal setup.
NC leaders said they carved out the provinces bearing in mind the interdependency of Madhes, the Inner Tarai and the Chure range in terms of the economy, environment and development-related issues, among other things.
"Similarly, we have given priority to economic viability, geographic proximity and convenience, population ratio and identity as major bases for state restructuring," NC leader Arjun Narasing KC told reporters after the four-party meeting. "We have also tried to keep the major ethnic clusters within the same province and not break them up as far as possible."
NC parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Paudel claimed that his party came up with the proposal as per the understanding reached among party leaders during the Hattiban meeting earlier this month. He said that at Hattiban they had reached an understanding to restructure the country into 6 to 7 provinces.