Valley lawmakers submit memo to PM

KATHMANDU: Constituent Assembly members representing three districts of the Kathmandu Valley on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala at his official residence in Baluwatar, urging him to highlight the future development concept of the historical cities at the international donors’ meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

As many as 16 lawmakers of various political parties have envisaged a cultural, secured, well-developed, green and beautiful Valley by forming a mechanism in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake.

In the 33-point memorandum submitted to Koirala, they have proposed segmentation of the Valley into three clusters for the reconstruction and recovery phase.

“It is highly suggested to segment the Valley into core areas, outer city areas (Gongabu, Sanepa and Gatthaghar) and areas of archaeological/cultural significance (Khokana, Sankhu and Thimi) to reconstruct them accordingly,” an excerpt of the memo read.

A delegation led by Nabindra Raj Joshi, Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker from Kathmandu Constituency-8, submitted the memo.

The lawmakers have demanded that the government provide subsidised loan to those whose houses were fully or partially damaged by the quakes, citing the immediate needs of their reconstruction.

The lawmakers laid emphasis on the unified development of the destroyed or damaged structures in a planned manner as per the will and need of the locals by holding serious consultation with them.

Earlier, the Valley lawmakers had discussed the issues of reconstruction and recovery process with the locals who stressed on the unbreakable interconnection between their indigenous places, houses, individuals, communities and heritage.

The CA members have sought their role and participation in the reconstruction process.

“We demanded that the government proceed with reconstruction, repair and maintenance of destroyed or damaged cultural and historical monuments under the leadership of CA members representing their constituencies,” the memorandum read.

The lawmakers said the government should from a mechanism comprising representatives from all the ministries, National Planning Commission, Kathmandu Valley Development Authority, Department of Archaeology, all 23 municipal bodies, including Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and other related agencies headed by the CA members, to prepare a unified development framework of the Valley.

In response, Prime Minister Koirala said the government will highly prioritise development of all infrastructure, including electricity, drinking water, sewerage, telephone and road in new settlements during the recovery phase.