By Tika Bahadur Basnet Dang, Oct. 30: “With Dang declared the capital of Lumbini State, I have locked up my passport and am now engaged in a business,” said Jagat Khanal, a grocery store owner from Rapti Gaunpalika - 2. Khanal, who worked for a decade in Malaysia, said that he decided to stay in the country after his area was declared the permanent capital of his State. Saying that the decision enthused the locals, Khanal believed that the days of toiling abroad for livelihood might be over. “I have been happy ever since I heard the news of Deukhuri becoming the State capital. It seems to me that the days of sweating on foreign soil are over,” he said. “We look forward to the decision regarding the capital being implemented. We are confident that employment opportunities will be generated once structures for the capital start building.” Deukhuri’s declaration as the capital has also brought a smile to Khusi Ram Chaudhary’s face. A vegetable seller in Lamahi market, Chaudhary expressed optimism that the move would help him find a market for his agricultural products. “I make my living by selling vegetables. I have to go door-to-door to find customers. I don’t get a decent price for my produce,” Chaudhary, who sells vegetables on his bicycle, said. “I have seen people coming here to buy property which gives me hope that the market will now expand.” Chetnath Poudel of Gadhwa is also excited to see Deukhuri become the State capital. Poudel, who has been running an apparel store in Gadhwa market for the past four years, said that his business had skyrocketed ever since the capital was announced. “The decision has delighted the locals. Business is booming,” he said. “Businessmen who had earlier left the area are coming back. It seems that our time has finally come.” Khanal, Chaudhary and Poudel are just examples. The entire Deukhuri Valley is eager to start functioning as Lumbini’s capital. People have started discussing about the structures of the capital, thinking about where to build them and how. Shobhakhar Bhusal, who runs a private school in Lalmatiya, Rapti Gaunpalika - 2, thought that the Gaunpalika should be made the administrative and educational centre, Arghakhanchi’s Shitganga the tourism hub and Gadhwa established as an industrial area. “Becoming the State capital is both a challenge and an opportunity,” said civil leader Nim Bahadur Thapa, adding, “The people of Deukhuri should bear this historic responsibility.” Thapa also said that there should be no delay in constructing new infrastructures necessary for the capital, stating that it would help give development and employment to the residents of the area. Urging for the construction of quality infrastructure, he also urged the authorities to build settlements by managing the land there.