KATHMANDU: Stakeholders urged the government to take into account multiple factors before undertaking reconstruction efforts in the capital city.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa organised an interaction on “Liveable Kathmandu,” on Sunday and said the government should not carry out reconstruction efforts in isolation. Rather, it should keep in mind the problems of drinking water, energy, sewerage and drainage problems, roads and transport in the capital city.
The government, he added, must carry out hazard mapping of the capital city before preparing any land use planning. Thapa also said planners should also think of the growth of population in the capital in 30 to 80 years and should plan accordingly.
“If we just keep in mind the damage caused by the April 25 earthquake in our reconstruction efforts, we are not going to do the right thing. We need to have farsighted views on development of Kathmandu and we need to fix many things,” Thapa added.
Engineering Geologist Ranjan Kumar Dahal also urged the government to do hazard mapping of Kathmandu Valley before starting any reconstruction efforts. “Lalitpur sits on the rocks and we can imagine how dangerous the situation can be in this district in the event of an earthquake,” he said, and added that the government should strictly enforce building code.
He said people should not be allowed to convert residential buildings into schools or banks or any other institutions. Dahal said the government should also prevent settlement plans in land-fill areas. “Building houses on filled land needs special designing and I know that none of such buildings have proper designs in the capital,” he added. Former Vice Chair of National Planning Commission Pitamber Sharma said decentralisation of Kathmandu was necessary to develop the capital city into a liveable city.
“Kathmandu should deal only with politics and tourism,” he said and added that planners needed to know that Kathmandu could not accommodate unlimited population as it had limited watershed. Sharma said planners needed to replan areas such as Gongbu and reclaim encroached roads and government land.
Ram Prasad Dhital, chief executive director of Alternative Energy said the power outage witnessed in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake, must serve as a lesson to the government to install alternative energy back-up plan in the capital city.