Academic journal article Contributions to Nepalese Studies

Functional Base Analysis of Tansen Municipal Town. (Research Note)

Academic journal article Contributions to Nepalese Studies

Functional Base Analysis of Tansen Municipal Town. (Research Note)

Article excerpt

Introduction

Municipal town or urban locality, according to the 1991 population census of Nepal (CBS 1994), is defined as town that contains inhabitants above 9,000 (1). By defining it as incorporated town, it acquires a status of an independent administrative unit, and manages all its functions and development activities on its own through raising revenues from various sources, besides central government grant. Besides, municipal town is also a market centre as it performs three functions simultaneously, such as local exchange, internal trade and central place function.

Tansen was recognized as a municipal town in 1961. In 1991, Tansen, the only municipal town of Palpa district, had total inhabitants of 13, 599. This town population accounted for 6 percent of the district total population. Compared to 1981 census, the 1991 population size of the town had increased by less than 0.5 percent, the lowest annual urban growth rate among the municipal towns in the country (2). It is a district headquarters town as well. Being located on the hill slope, Tansen is an important hill town of the western region. From the very beginning, it has played a role of long distance trading activity the town is also delivering its own peculiar function to the inhabitants living in the surrounding region through a variety of activities it distinctively owns. By this identity, this town has a dominant role in its own geographic region. For this reason, the present study attempts to the functional base analysis of Tansen municipal town in terms of number, type and range of functional establishments. The characteristics of each functional unit are also discussed in this paper.

Geographical Setting of the Study Area

Tansen is located at the southern lap of the Mahabharat range in Palpa district, Lumbini Zone in the Western Development Region of Nepal. The beautiful hill Srinagar towers over Tansen. Though the town is situated on the southern slope of the Mahabharat Lekh, the area covered by Tansen is relatively flat and the slope is gentle. The town in located at an altitude of 4300 ft and the highest peak of the range in the area is 5000 ft. above sea level. The town has covered an area of 3979 hectares. It takes only about two hours by bus to reach the Terai region from Tansen. The climate of the place is moderate and pleasant. The summer temperature hardly exceeds 29[degrees]C and it does not fall below 7[degrees]C during winter on average. The annual rainfall of Tansen (1996) is 1634 mm. About 90 percent of the total rainfall occurs in summer season while remaining precipitation occurs in winter.

Data and Methods

Data Collection: A structured inventory observation sheet was used for gathering information about the number and type of functional establishments located within Tansen Municipal boundary. The sheet was used to record all functional establishment units.

For this survey, first of all an observational visit was done all around the municipal area and then a sketch map of the street layouts was drawn. Major function speciality areas such as vegetables, fruits, cinemas, bus stops, hotels and restaurants, etc. were plotted on the sketch map. Legends were given to each function supported by index if needed.

The recording of function establishment units was done on the functional inventory observation sheet. The functional units located along both sides of the main commercial thoroughfare and its adjacent streets were mainly considered for recording. The functional units located in the remote localities of the municipality in less than five numbers were omitted for recording. The enumeration was first performed at one of the street corners and then the other side was followed until the first started house reached without leaving a single house. The sketch map provided by the Tansen Municipality was also used to follow the routes. All temporary retail stalls or vending shops were also recorded. …

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