Fifth municipal assembly of Kathmandu Metropolitan City announces ‘new’ plans for 2019/20With the city office failing to address even minor issues, there are concerns whether it will be able to deliver on lofty promises
Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya unveiled another slew of plans for the Kathmandu Metropolitan City for the fiscal year 2019/20 at the conclusion of the fifth municipal assembly held in the Capital on Thursday.
Speaking at the programme, Shakya said the plans and policies were brought forward keeping in mind the upliftment of the lifestyle of marginalised communities in the metropolis with sustainable economic, social and cultural development goals. However, the plans are mostly a repetition of plans the KMC has failed to bring to fruition in the past two years.
The plans and policies, endorsed by the metropolis's 34th executive council’s meeting, focuses majorly on five main topics: economy and employment, social development, urban infrastructure and development plans, environment and disaster management and institutional development and good governance.
Since taking office two years ago, Mayor Shakya has been talking about urban development issues, such as management of urban transportation, urban development and the building code.
And among the major points unveiled, the most ambitious plans are the urban infrastructure and development plans.
The annual plan talks about the promotion of night business in the metropolis—a plan that looks ambitious but not impossible. The City, in cooperation with Bagmati Coordinator of National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs, on July 2012 had operated 16 night buses after 8 pm, but due to a lack of coordination and proper planning, the bus service was stopped in less than six months.
The fiscal plan also talks about other plans such as promoting World Heritage sites, such as Pashupati, Boudhanath, Basantapur and Swayambhunath—a programme that has been in the priority list in the metropolis for many years now.
The metropolis has been highly criticised by locals, heritage conservationists and urban architect for introducing the ‘Building Code 2075’ that ignores the Ancient Monument Preservation Act-2013.
Some other plans unveiled by the metropolis are: to open an elderly hospital in coordination with the provincial government, to make easy availability of public toilets, to open ‘Kathmandu City Planning and Research Institute’ for further study and research of heritage, culture and for their sustainable preservation and management. In its plans, the metropolis says it will also implement the ‘one house two tree’ policy as well, another plan that it has tried, and repeatedly failed, to launch.
The metropolis has announced that it will construct a 16-metre tall Buddha statue, for which it had also allocated an estimated Rs1.2 billion. The project initiated in 2016 did not turn out to be a success. In its new plan, the metropolis has also announced it will install ‘fire hydrants’ in the inner alleys of the city where fire trucks can’t reach.