Timeline of federal structure of Nepal

This is a timeline-list of federal structures, that were purposed before the new constitution was promulgated in 2015 and the series of relevant events following that. 

Official Map of Administrative divisions of Nepal by
Government of Nepal, Survey Department (karma99.com)

2023 MarProvince-1 assembly voted the name of the province to be "Koshi".

2022 Nov 20: Election held for 2nd provincial assemblies. 

2022 Jan 17Province 2 assembly passed its state name and state capital by 2/3 majority. The new name of the state is "Madhesh" and state capital is "Janakpuar".  Out of 99 assembly members who voted, 80 voted for Madhesh name, and 78 voted in favor of capital Janakpuar.  (link)

2020 Oct 6: Province 5 state assembly passed its state name and state capital by 2/3 majority. The new name of the state is "Lumbini" and its Capital is "Bhalubang (Deukhuri)", Dang district. (link)

2020 Jan 12Province 3 state assembly passed its state name and new capital by 2/3 majority. Out of a total of 110 members, 108 voted for the new name "Bagmati" and 105 voted for the new capital "Hetauda". (link)

2019 May 6: Biratnagar voted to be the permanent provincial capital of State-1

2018 Sep 28Province 7 state assembly passed its state name and state capital by 2/3 majority. 38 out of 53 lawmakers voted for the name "SudurPaschim" whereas "Godawari" became the new provincial capital. (link)

2018 July 2: Province 4 state assembly passed its new capital by 2/3 majority. 54 members voted for the new capital "Pokhara". (link) On July 6, state name was also declared.  54 out of 56 provincial assembly members voted for the name "Gandaki". (link)

2018 Feb 24
Province 6 state assembly passed its state name and state capital by 2/3 majority. State Assembly has a total of 40 seats and currently, there are 39 members. Among them 37 voted for the new name "Karnali" and 36 voted for the capital "Surkhet". (link)

2018 Feb 1-5: first meeting of all 7 states held in their respective states. 

2017 Nov 26 & Dec 7: provincial election held for the first time in Nepal in all 7 provinces.

2015 Sep 20 Sun (Ashoj 3, 2072 BS): President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav promulgated the Constitution of Nepal in the last meeting of the Constituent Assembly. 

2015 Sep 16 Wed (Bhadau 30, 2072 B.S.):  Nepal's Constitution 2072 B.S. endorsed by the constituent assembly meeting by 2/3 majority. This ensured Nepal to have 7 states. 

2015 Aug 21: After several protests in two weeks 3 major political parties (Congress, UML & Maoist) now agree on a new 7 states model. Three parties have combined 451 (75%) seats in the Constituent Assembly. 4th party from the earlier agreement (Forum-democratic) opposed the agreement.

The 6th state from the earlier "6-state model" is divided into two creating new 6th and 7th state. Salyan district from earlier 5th state is given to new state-6. One village (Thori) from Parsa district in state-2 is given to state-3.
Many regional organizations and parties protested against the earlier proposed 6 states model demanding:-
- Akhanda Sudur-Paschim (undivided far-west region)
- Akhanda Madhya-Paschim (undivided mid-west region)
- Tharuhat Pradesh (from Nawalparasi to Kanchanpur excluding hill districts)
- Karnali Pradesh (including present Karnali zone)
- Akhanda Baglung district (not to divide present Baglung district)

2015 Aug 8: Four major political parties (Congress, UML, Maoist, and Forum-Democratic) agreed on a new 6 states model. All new 6 states will have boundaries with India. 4 states (except 2 Lumbini & Madhesh) will have boundaries with China as well.

Aug 8, 2015: 6 states of Nepal initially agreed among major parties

2015 June 9: the 16-points agreement between four major political parties (Congress, UML, Maoist, and Forum-Democratic). They also agreed on the 8 state model. But boundaries are not finalized. Maoist led 30-party alliance split.

2015 Apr 25: Earthquake in Nepal

2014 Oct 27: CPN-UML proposes 4 states model. Each state will consist of hills and terai regions. The proposed four states are Eastern, Central, Gandak & Karnali. (Link) Later other leaders of UML criticized this idea. UML officially supports Congress 6 or 7 states model. (Link)

2014 Oct 12: Nepali Congress proposed two model of six- or seven-states (Link)
6 & 7 states by Congress (source: ekantipur.com)

2013 Nov 19: Election of 2nd Constituent Assembly.

2012 Apr 28: UML presented the new proposal to federate the country into 12 states. (Link)

2012 Jan 19: State Reconstruction Commission proposes two separate federal structures, one with 11 states (including one non-territorial state) and another with 6 states. (link) Among 9 members of the commission 6 members (Malla K Sundar, Stella Tamang from Maoist, Prof Dr. Krishna Hachhethu, Surendra Mahato from Madheshi morcha, Bhogendra Jha from UML & co-ordinator Madan Pariyar) proposed 11-state model and 3 members (Ramesh Dhungel & Sabitri Gurung from NC and Sarbraj Khadka from UML) proposed 6states model. (link) (link) (link)
10+1 states by SRC
10+1 and 6 states by SRC

2011 Nov 22: Baburam Bhattarai Government decided to from State Reconstruction Commission according to Article 138 of the internal constitution of Nepal. It has given 2 months to give a report.

2010 Jan 20: State Reconstruction Committee of CA passes federal structure of 14 states supported by UCPNM and UML. 14 proposed states and map are as follows:-

Limbuwan, Kirat, Sherpa, Sunkoshi, Newa, Tamsaling, Narayani, Tamuwan, Magarat, Jadan, Karnali, Khaptad, Mithila-Bhojpura-Koch-Madhesh, Lumbini-Awadh-Tharuwan.

The proposed federal structure of Nepal
by CA- Stare Reconstruction Committee 2010

2008 May 28: First Constituent Assembly (CA) meeting declared Nepal to be a federal democratic republic by 560-4 votes. (12)

2008 Apr 10: First Constituent Assembly election. CPN Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, & MJF became 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th party respectively.

2008 Feb 28: 8-point agreement (८ बुँदे सहमति)  between Government and "Samyukta Loktantrik Madheshi Morcha" including MJF, TMLP, Sadbhawana Party (Agreed on Nepal to be a federal democratic republic and there will be autonomous Madhesh state).

2007 Aug 30: the 22-point agreement between the government and MJF

2007 Jan 16: Madhesh uprising started led by Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF)

2007 Jan 15: Interim constitution of Nepal 2007 issued.

2006 Apr 24: '19 days-Democracy movement of Nepal' ended, King re-instated the old parliament.

2002 Feb 28: Dr. Harka Gurung suggests "25-district New Nepal" as a new approach for decentralization.

Karma99.com - Screenshot of Dr. Hark Gurung's article on
Himal Khabarpatrika 2002 Feb

Various Provincial Demands

West Tharuhat: 8 westernmost terai districts (Nawalparasi, Rupendehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Kanchanpur) 

East Tharuhat: 6 eastern districts (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha, Udayapur)

Akhanda Sudur Paschim  √   State no 7

Limbuwan: 9 districts east of Arun-Kosh i river (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsasri, Ilam, Panchthar, Taplejung, Dhankuta, Terhathum & Sankhuwasabha)

Newa: (Kathmandu valley)

Samagra Madhesh Ek Swayetta Pradesh (All Madhesh One Province) (all terai)

United Tharuhat (all terai)

Present Structure (after 2015 constitution)

Provinces vs (Development Region & Zones): Under the new system there are now 7 provinces in Nepal removing the old 5 development regions and 14 zone systems.

Districts: The old 75 districts are mostly kept as it is, except two districts were split. In 2017 Aug 21, Government recognized both parts of Nawalparasi & Rukum each as separate districts. This  effectively made a total of 77 districts in Nepal.

Local levels: Currently there is a total of 753 local levels including 6 metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities, and 460 rural municipalities. 

Democratic era (1990-2015)

From 1961 to 2015, Nepal was divided into 5 development regions and 14 zones and 75 districts in a nested-hierarchical manner. 75 districts were divided into City and Villages and each city and villages were further sub-divided into 'wards' ranging from a minimum 9 (in VDC) to a maximum 35 (KTM). For example- Mt Everest was situated in Eastern Development Region, Sagarmatha zone, Solukhumbu district, Khumjung V.D.C., Ward no 4.

For the 1992 Local election (according to the new constitution of 1990) 36 Municipalities & 3,995 VDCs were created from the old city and village panchayats.

During the 1997 Local election, there were 58 municipalities and 3,913 VDCs.

Until July 2011, Nepal had 58 municipalities & 4,915 VDCs. These municipalities were:- State 1: Damak, Mechinagar, Bhadrapur, Ilam, Dharan, Itahari, Inaruwa, Biratnagar, Khandbari, Triyuga, Dhankuta, Bhimeshwar, Kamalamai, State 2: Birganj, Gulariya, Malangwa, Siraha, Lahan, Gaur, Kalaiya, Jaleswar, Rajbiraj, Janakpur, State 3: Kathmandu, Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Madhyapur Thimi, Ratnanagar, Bharatpur, Hetauda, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Panauti, Bidur, State 4,5,6: Gorkha, Pokhara, Lekhnath, Butwal-Rupandehi, Siddharthanagar- Rupandehi, Nepalganj, Tikapur-Kailali, Kapilvastu, Byas-Tanahu, Putalibazar-Syangja, Ramgram-Nawalparasi, Baglung, Tansen-Palpa, Waling-Syangja, Narayan-Dailekh, Ghorahi -Dang, Tulsipur-Dang, Birendranagar-Surkhet, State 7: Dhangadhi, Bhim Dutta, Amaragadhi, Dasharathchand, Dipayal-Silgadhi.

On May 8, 2014, Government added 72 new municipalities making a total of 130 municipalities.

In Dec 2014, Govt. again added 61 municipalities making a total of 191 municipalities and VDCs reduced to 3,276.

Though the new constitution was implemented in 2015 Sep, gov kept changing the old system.

In 2015 Sep 26 and in 2017 Mar 46 more municipalities were added making a total of 263 municipalities before the new constitution implemented at the local level and after the constitution promulgated.

1961 restructure by King Mahendra

In 4/13/1961 (BS 2018/1/1) Nepal was divided into 14 Zones and 75 districts by King Mahendra.

In 1972 Nepal was further divided into 4 development regions by King Birendra. And in 1980, the westernmost region was further divided into two regions creating mid-western and far-western regions.

In 1975 (BS 2032/8/26) Tibrikot (तिब्रीकोट) district was renamed as Kalikot (कालीकोट), because of which Kalikot district is also known as Kanchho Zilla (कान्छो जिल्ला, the Youngest district).

During the 1987 Local election, there were 33 City Panchayat & 4,015 Village Panchayat in Nepal.

1956 Restructure 

On 23 December 1956, a committee was formed to restructure administrative divisions of Nepal. In accordance with The Report On Reconstruction Of Districts Of Nepal, 1956 (Nepali: नेपालको जिल्ला प्रशासन पुनर्गठनको रिपोर्ट, २०१३), the country was first divided into total 7 Kshetras (area). In 1962, King Mahendra dissolved this system and new systems implemented. 

1.Arun Kshetra: Mechi, Biratnagar, Taplejunng, Dhankuta, Bhojpur
2.Janakpur Kshetra: Hanumannagar, Sagarmatha, Janakpur Dolakha
3.Kathmandu Kshetra: Kathmandu, Chautara, Trishuli, Rapti, Birgunj
4.Gandak Kshetra: Pokhara, Gorkha, Syanja, Kapilvastu
5.Kapilavastu Kshetra: Baglung, Gulmi, Pyuthan, Kapilvastu
6.Karnali Kshetra: Humla, Karnali, Jajarkot, Salyan, Dailekh, Nepalgunj
7.Mahakali Kshetra: Bajhang, Doti, Dhangadi, Mahakali

Sub-division of Rana era

During the rule of Rana PM Bir Shamsher (1885-1901) Nepal was divided into a total of 32 districts. There were 20 districts in hill and 12 districts in terai. Palpa and Dhankuta were the center (Gaunda) of west and east. Terai districts used to be call Tahsil (तहसिल).

Dhankuta Gauda (धनकुटा गौंडा) (6 districts)
*East no 1 (पूर्व १ नम्वर) Kabhre (काभ्रेपलाञ्चोक), Sindhupalchowk (सिन्धुपाल्चोक)
*East No 2 (पूर्व २ नम्वर) Dolakha (दोलखा), Ramechhap (रामेछाप)
*East No 3 (पूर्व ३ नम्वर) Okhaldhunga (ओखलढुंगा), Solukhumbu (सोलुखुम्बु)
*East No 4 (पूर्व ४ नम्वर ) Bhojpur (भोजपुर), Khotang (खोटाङ्)
*Ilam (इलाम) now Illam and Panchthar (पाँचथर)
*Dhanuta (धनकुटा) now Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha (संखुवासभा), Terathaum (तेह्रथुम), Taplejung (ताप्लेजुङ्)

Other Eastern Districts/Tahsils
*Jhapa now Jhapa (झापा)
*Biratnagar (विराटनगर) now Morang (मोरङ्) and Sunsari (सुनसरी)
*Saptari now Saptari (सप्तरी) and Siraha (सिराहा)
*Mahottari now Dhanusha (धनुषा), Mahottari (महोत्तरी) and Sarlahi (सर्लाही)
*Udayapur now Udayapur (उदयपुर)
*Khajhani (खजहनी) now Sindhuli (सिन्धुली)

Central Districts
    *Kathmandu (काठमाडौं) now Kathmandu (काठमाडौं)   
    *Bhaktapur (भक्तपुर) now Bhaktapur (भक्तपुर)
    *Lalitpur (ललितपुर) now Lalitpur (ललितपुर)

    *Birgunj (वीरगञ्ज) now Bara (बारा), Parsa (पर्सा), Rautahat (रौतहट)
    *Chisapanigadhi (चिसापानीगढी) now Makwanpur (मकवानपुर), Chitwan (चितवन)

    Palpa Gauda (western districts)
    *West no 1 (पश्चिम १ नम्बर) Dhading (धादिङ्), Nuwakot (नुवाकोट), Rasuwa (रसुवा)
    *West no 2 (पश्चिम २ नम्बर) Gorkha (गोरखा)
    *West no 3 (पश्चिम ३ नम्बर) Kaski(कास्की), Lamjung (लमजुङ्), Manang (मनाङ्), Tanahun (तनहुँ)
    *West no 4 (पश्चिम ४ नम्बर) Syangja(स्याङ्जा), Parbat (पर्वत)
    *Palpa (पाल्पा) now Palpa (पाल्पा)
    *Baglung (बाग्लुङ्) now Baglung (बाग्लुङ्), Mustang (मुस्ताङ्), Myagdi (म्याग्दी)
    *Gulmi (गुल्मी) now Arghakhanchi (अर्घाखाँची), Gulmi (गुल्मी)
    *Pyuthan (प्यूठान) now Pyuthan (प्यूठान)
    *Salyan (सल्यान) now Salyan(सल्यान), Rukum (रुकुम), Rolpa (रोल्पा), Jajarkot (जाजरकोट)
    *Dailekh (दैलेख) now Dailekh (दैलेख), Surkhet (सुर्खेत)
    *Jumla (जुम्ला) now Dolpa (डोल्पा), Humla (हुम्ला), Jumla (जुम्ला), Mugu (मुगु), Kalikot (कालीकोट)
    *Doti (डोटी) now Achham(अछाम), Bajhang (बझाङ्), Bajura (बाजुरा), Doti (डोटी)
    *Baitada (बैतडा) now Baitadi (बैतडी), Darchula (दार्चुला)
    *Dadeldhura (डडेलधुरा) now Dadeldhura (डडेलधुरा)

    *Palimajh Khand (पालिमाझ खण्ड) Kapilvastu (कपिलवस्तु), Nawalparasi (नवलपरासी), Rupendehi (रुपन्देही)
    *Dang (दाङ्) now Dang (दाङ्)
    *Bankebardia (बाँके बर्दिया) now Banke (बाँके), Bardiya (बर्दिया)
    *Kailali (कैलाली) now Kailali (कैलाली), Kanchanpur (कञ्चनपुर)

    Sub-division before Rana Era

    During King Rajendra Bikram and PM Bhimsen Thapa in 1816 A.D. Nepal was divided into 10 districts. All eastern areas from the Dudhkoshi river were in one Dhankuta district.


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