KMC puts greenery on cards but will parks crop up?

KATHMANDU: A meeting of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) on Friday has decided to allocate Rs 10 million to each municipality in Kathmandu to promote greenery, park construction and protection of public spaces.

As part of the town-partnership programme under the Environment Friendly Local Governance Framework, municipal authorities are mulling to take a move to turn Kathmandu from ugly concrete forest to green city, informed officials.

According to KMC Spokesperson Ishwor Man Dangol, municipal authorities will sign an agreement for construction of parks with KMC. Although the allocated fund might not be enough in line with design of the parks, each municipality is expected to cover budget shortages to fund the projects, Dangol added.

As per the local governance framework, each ward in the municipality must protect drinking water sources, manage waste properly, construct artificial ponds and emergency safety area, encourage organic farming, form local disaster management committee and have at least one nursery, roads and drainage system.

At present, there are around 15 parks - all except Ratna Park in dire straits - in Kathmandu Metropolis spread over 50.7 square kilometers with a high population density of 20,288 people per sq km.

According to Chief of Environment Department Hari Kumar Shrestha, the city has planned to invest in park construction and greenery promotion not only to preserve public space but also to curb pollution.

Meanwhile, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has faced severe criticisms off late for announcing far-fetched projects from smart cities to smoke-free city when in reality little to none has been done towards that end.

READKMC signs agreement pledging to make city smoke-free 

Moreover, as KMC's leadership scramble for control, thousands of valley denizens bear the burnt of high levels of dust while commuting everyday. Apart from affecting public health, the rising pollution in the city will also adversely impact the tourist turnout in grand tourism campaign VisitNepal2020, according to tourism entrepreneurs.

Given that and poor record of KMC's commitment to perform as per public expectations, it is unclear whether the park construction campaign will result in increased public spaces or remain in papers and agreements.