Kathmandu unveils plans on digitisation, revival of old spaces and improving schoolsPolicies and programmes for next fiscal also include retrofitting Bagdurbar and rebuilding Kamal Pokhari.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City unveiled its annual policies and programmes for the fiscal year 2022-23 on Sunday. The 163-point document has some new plans for the City while most others are a continuation of previous plans and policies.
Kathmandu mayor Balendra Shah unveiled the annual plan at the City Hall with Deputy Mayor Sunita Dangol, chief administrative officer Lok Nath Poudyal and other elected representatives in attendance.
Some of the new initiatives included in this year’s policies and programmes are digitised record-keeping of the state of the City’s roads, drainage systems, water pipelines, street lamps and other infrastructures; segregation of garbage at source and conversion of ‘waste to energy’ to solve the garbage disposal problem faced by the City.
In a fresh move, the City has announced to establish ‘Koseli Ghar’ (gift house) in two wards of the City to promote locally-made products. The wards are yet to be selected.
The City has also announced plans to establish STEM clubs to promote science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other innovative programmes in 40 different schools in the City. The establishment of community learning centres for vocational training and promotion of a healthier lifestyle with focus on physical and mental wellbeing through yoga and meditation also features in the policies and programmes.
In what has been dubbed a remarkable initiative, Shah has also announced the revival of traditional ‘stone spouts’ for water supply and the construction of traditional falcha (resting place) at different bus stations.
Focussing on art and culture, the City has included the reestablishment of Dabali (traditional open spaces) and the construction of an amphitheatre. Deputy Mayor Sunita Dangol had prioritised this issue in her manifesto before the elections held on May 13.
The City has also announced plans to coordinate with the federal government to solve the land-related issues at Tinkune Park in ward 32, which has been neglected for two decades due to the dispute of compensation to the landowners.
It also plans to install CCTV at all the city offices.
Shah has designated the first Sunday of every month for “direct talk” with the public to address their grievances.
In this year’s plans and policies, the City has also prioritised pedestrian-friendly road infrastructure and the construction of disabled-friendly ATM booths near banks.
The City has also announced the branding of ‘local alcoholic drinks’ for the international market.
Another welcome move of the City is its decision to retrofit the 2015 earthquake-damaged Bagdurbar and carry out the second phase of reconstruction of Kamal Pokhari. Former mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had given the approval to demolish Bagdurbar for which he drew widespread criticisms. The City’s administration had also received flak for using concrete materials in the pond bed of Kamal Pokhari, as it did in the reconstruction of the historical Rani Pokhari. Also, the City has announced plans to introduce an electronic building permit system in the next six months.
Meanwhile, some plans that are continuation from the previous years. They include plans to convert the Durbar High School into a model school; reclaim encroached public spaces, provide treatment to elderly people at their doorsteps, and house pooling in core areas. The other programmes getting continuity are the promotion of terrace gardening, rehabilitation of street children and homeless, the operation of night buses in the City, free Wi-Fi in public spaces and heritage sites and the construction of a vertical parking system to ease traffic jams in Kathmandu.