Valley municipal chiefs agree on forming a single mega cityThe vision of Greater Kathmandu–a single autonomous metropolitan area covering the entire Valley–gained momentum after chiefs of all 22 municipalities agreed to work towards that end on Saturday.
The vision of Greater Kathmandu–a single autonomous metropolitan area covering the entire Valley–gained momentum after chiefs of all 22 municipalities agreed to work towards that end on Saturday.
After two days of deliberation, the municipal heads have come out with a 10-point ‘Godavari Declaration 2015’, urging Parliament, the government, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and lawmakers elected from the Valley to form political, legal and legislative provisions for restructuring different administrative units in the Valley into one. The chiefs have stressed the need to hold local body elections without delay and forming a Metropolitan Act for the purpose.
There is one metropolitan city, one sub-metropolitan city, 20 municipalities and 19 VDCs in the Valley’s three districts–Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. In lack of coordination between them, the local bodies create and implement their own policies and programmes, resulting in haphazard urbanisation in the Valley.
According to Secretary at the MoFALD Madhav Prasad Regmi, a single metro city will help create a “well managed” Kathmandu.
“The ministry will play a lead role towards that end,” Regmi assured.
Chief Executive Officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Rudra Singh Tamang said that a single metropolis would prevent duplication of programmes meant for the Valley while municipalities can pool their resources for integrated efforts. “Integrated and coordinated development of Kathmandu is a must for smooth and efficient transportation system, communication network, waste management, revenue mobilisation, service delivery, and law and order,” he said.
In the 10-point declaration, municipal chiefs also pledged to immediately begin cooperation in making joint policy-level decisions, environment conservation and resource management, and decided to form a unified committee for the purpose. Discussions will be held on creating a metropolitan court, they said. Commenting on the declaration, Kathmandu lawmaker Deepak Kuinkel said the new constitution has stated Kathmandu as the national capital in Federal Nepal and that Kathmandu is the entire Valley.
“The Valley can be developed as the capital only if resources are mobilised in an integrated manner,” said Kuinkel, with the backing to the Greater Kathmandu vision coming from Valley’s other lawmakers Rameshwor Phuyal and Rambhir Manandhar.
However, lawmaker Udaya SJB Rana cautioned that 19 VDCs in Lalitpur should not be forgotten while forming a greater metropolis. “We have to analyse how village economies can support core urban areas in Kathmandu and vice versa. There must be a role of VDCs in the concept of a broader metropolis,” he said.
Chairman of Administrative Court Kashi Raj Dahal pointed out several challenges facing the proposed consolidated mega city. “Components of a greater metropolis are economically different, they tend to be politically unsound, population is biologically degenerate and social aspirations are varied,” he said. He highlighted the need of cooperation between the government, private sector and citizens, inter-governmental relationship in light of autonomy between them and strong political leadership for success.
Of the 2.5 million residents in the Valley, around 1 million reside in KMC while another half a million reside in Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City, Bhaktapur Municipality, Kirtipur Municipality and Madhyapur Thimi Municipality.
n This file photo shows an aerial view of the northeastern part of Kathmandu. POST FILE PHOTO
prevent duplication of programmes meant for the Valley while municipalities can pool their resources for
Rudra Singh Tamang
Municipal chiefs bring out a 10-point ‘Godavari Declaration 2015’, urging political, legal and legislative provisions for restructuring different administrative units