Until a decade ago, it used to take about an hour and a half to reach Lumbini from Butwal via Bhairahawa. Narrow and bumpy roads greeted visitors to Lumbini, called a tourist city.
Anyone returning to this region after a decade will be surprised by the changes in Butwal, Bhairahawa, and Lumbini. The first thing they will notice is that the road from Butwal to Belahiya and Buddhachowk to Lumbini has been widened.
The construction of the six-lane road has shortened the distance between Bhairahawa, Tilottama, and Butwal, where a megacity is being planned. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel has already allocated a budget for the plan to develop the area into a megacity. Sainamana, Shuddhodhan, Siyari, and Omasatiya villages will also be connected to this city.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Poudel, people's representative from, Rupendehi Constituency No 2, has been saying that Rupendehi will be made a model of development.
Butwal sub-metropolitan chief Shivaraj Subedi says the area east of Bardaghat west of Char Number will be incorporated into the megacity. The city will be extended to Saljandi Farsatikar and Amuwa.
However, experts say that officials need to maintain uniformity in the development of infrastructure. Yuvaraj Kandel, a scholar from Butwal, says that for the Butwal to become a megacity, there should be a uniformity in the infrastructure to be built in all the current municipalities.
"In particular, the budget needs to be allocated in such a way that infrastructure development is uniform and the metropolitan development authority is in control," he said. "If there is no uniformity in development, it will be difficult to develop a megacity."
Finance Minister Poudel has allocated a budget to lay underground power transmission cables in Butwal. This will help maintain the aesthetics of the city as overhead cabling has been seen as a bane for cities in Nepal.
Butwal sub-metropolis plans to develop the area as a green city. A tree plantation program has been launched to make road dividers green. There are plans to develop the Tinau-Danau corridor as a green corridor. At the same time, plans are being formulated to develop the Belbas-Bethari road in a similar fashion.
Traffic lights have been installed in Tilottama to make the city modern and safe. Tilottama’s Mayor Vasudev Ghimire says, "Work has been started from Manigram in the first phase of the road safety program."
Traffic lights will also be installed in Butwal and Bhairahawa. In Butwal, a modern model auto and transport village to manage freight vehicles and prevent unnecessary crowding of the city.
Sanamina municipality has started the construction of a modern landfill site in cooperation with neighboring municipalities. "Sanamina's landfill site plays an important role in waste management," said Mayor Chitra Bahadur Karki. "Even the waste of neighboring municipalities will be managed here."
There are plans to run electric buses to connect Butwal to Bhairahawa and Lumbini. There are plans to run electric buses in Lumbini as well. However, it’s yet to come into operation.
The International Conference Center being constructed in Butwal, and Bhairahawa Airport will make Butwal and Bhairahawa more cosmopolitan.
Drinking water for the densely populated city of the future is also being planned. The Jhumsa Khola Drinking Water Project will bring in more than 30 million liters of water to Butwal daily. Siddhababa's tunnel route and Kaligandaki-Tinau diversion will also make the city more attractive.