Kathmandu, January 2:

The Kathmandu Valley Town Development Committee along with the five municipalities of the Valley and the three District Development Committees is working to draft an amendment to the building by-laws that were introduced 12 years ago.

Devendra Dongol, head of the Urban Development Department of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said the initiation was taken with a view to controlling haphazard urbanisation in the Valley. “The existing building by-laws have been outdated and cannot address the need of the fast-growing city.”

Member secretary of the town development committee, Indra Bahadur Shrestha said the committee has allocated Rs 800,000 for the preparation of the revised land-use map of the Valley. The existing land-use map was prepared 20 years ago. “We have decided to authorise Rural Urban Planners’ Society of Nepal to prepare a revised map,” he said.

Besides the local bodies concerned — including the committee and the DDCs — are scheduled for to meet on Tuesday for the second time to discuss on efforts to introduce multi-storied flat system of housing outside the Ring Road.

Dongol said the government should plan and build large buildings for low and middle-income people living in the Valley.

He added that the KMC has already sent proposals to different donor agencies for the systematic urban development of the Valley.

“There is no alternative but to introduce flat system if we really want to develop our city where 5,000 houses are built every year in a haphazard way,” he said.

Admitting that the KMC could not monitor the haphazard construction within the metropolis due to various reasons, he said it has already been too late to plan for the overall development of the City.

Due to reasons like conflict and Valley-centered markets, construction of buildings even on very small plots has increased during the last seven years.

“Though the private companies have already introduced the flat system, their service is limited to higher income groups and is profit oriented,” he said.

The amendment of the by-laws intends to address the changes in the land-use pattern after 1976 when the government adopted and enforced the Kathmandu Valley Land Use Plan.

It will also help incorporate land use changes in the updated map in accordance with the land use strategy adopted by the Plan 2020. It will help prepare digitised land use maps, which can be effectively used for regulating the land use pattern and enforcement of the physical planning and building by-laws.