KATHMANDU: The expression: “Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC)” officially used by the government to refer to the capital city of Kathmandu has evoked laughter and cynicism among many foreigners, engineers and experts said here today.
Kathmandu has failed to meet even the basic minimum criteria set under the national law to be a metropolis, let alone international standards, according to
an engineer.
“KMC is a city of chaos rather than a metropolis,” said engineer Devendra Dongol, who is also the chief at the Physical Urban Development and Construction Department, KMC.
Dongol said that foreigners who frequent Nepal from other metropolitan cities laugh at when they call Kathmandu as metropolis.
Dongol rules out the city as metropolis arguing that the city has been developed haphazardly without meeting even minimum criterion.
One of the criterion set as per the Local Self-Governance Act 2055BS states that a metropolis should have at least 300,000 population, well-developed roads, access to safe drinking
water, health facilities, education and electricity, systematic urban development, well-managed transportation and sanitation.
The Act also mentions that for a city to be called a metropolis, it ought to be environmentally safe, a good housing plan, preparation of land-usage map, separate places for industries, residential area, farm land, parks, and enough green cover. The Act envisages that the city must have well conserved rivers and water sources, well preserved heritage sites, well managed garbage disposal facility, shelter for homeless and security of life enjoyed by the people under a well established law and order.
“The government has not fulfilled 95 per cent of those criterion,” said Nava Raj Dhakal at the Revenue Department, KMC.
“How can one call Kathmandu a metropolis when we are short of all these infrastructure?” asks Dhakal.
International standard has it that a metropolis has five million people who enjoy free education and health services and where certain number of marginalised people have unfettered access to these social welfare measures. Well-planned roads and settlements, sufficient supply of water and electricity, enough security to people and basic infrastructure development are other requirements for a metropolis, said Dongol.

Stage set for KMC council meet

KATHMANDU: The much-awaited council meeting of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), which was to approve the annual budget and programmes, is likely to take place within a couple of days. The budget approval had fallen through for want of the meeting. “The budget and programmes are already prepared,” said Niranjan Baral, executive chief, KMC. “The final draft will be completed soon and the budget will be approved in a week.” — HNS