Way to planned Urbanization

KATHMANDU: After facing huge loss of human settlements and lives owing to haphazard urbanisation on April 25 earthquake, the budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 has adopted various measures to ensure planned urbanisation.

As per the budget, land will be allocated to develop new residential colony or settlement by implementing land use policy. Individuals and companies will require prior approval from local authority for plotting the land for residential purpose.

Moreover, settlement development will be permitted by ascertaining easy access of basic infrastructures.

And integrated and organised settlements will be developed by transferring those areas that were geologically weakened by the earth-quake where there is no possibility of resettlement.

The government promises to introduce the provisions to allow foreign nationals to purchase apartments with an ease.

The government plans to prepare the master plan to develop Kathmandu valley, Lumbini region and Nijgadh as a smart city.

Moreover, budget has allocated for the infra-structure development of 10 modern cities in Mid-Hill highway.

Real estate developers said that the budget has provided proper provisions to develop new settlements in planned way. “We have been demanding for mandatory provisions to develop managed settlements and planned urbanisation from the beginning.

After incurring huge loss of properties in the earthquake, the government is working towards having smart cities and well planned settlements which is praiseworthy,” said Om Rajbhandary, Third Vice President of Nepal Land and Housing Developers’ Association.

He further said that the budget has mentioned every aspect to construct new structures in planned way.

“Implementing land use policy for residential area, incorporating earthquake resistant designs, manda-tory approval for land plotting, strictly enforcing building code and building by-laws to regulate unorganised urbanisation is a step forward to have safer cities,” he added.

Rajbhandary said, “The government announcement to provide refinancing facility and interest subsidy under central bank for the sectors including earthquake affected residential home and businesses have further relieved in the sector,” adding that Nepal Rastra Bank has already announced the measure to have loan rescheduling.

Despite all these positive commitments, real estate developers still doubt as many commitments in previous budget were merely confined in books.

“The government should finalise the directives within the first quarter of this fiscal year in order to implement these policies,” said Raj-bhandary, adding that it will also help developers to plan new projects as per the requirements.

He further stressed on the need for the implementation of the promised provisions.

Being optimistic about the scope of the sector in days to come, he said, “The government has provisioned to have Rs 2.5 million loans to construct completely damaged houses which will create employment opportunities as well as increase the volume of the new housing products.”

“The announcement of the government to allow foreign nationals to purchase apartments with easy process has provided some relief to apartment developers as many developers have suffered by the earthquake,” said Bijay Rajbhandary, Chairman of CE Constructions.

He further said, “This provision not only helps boost the sector but also assists in reviving charm of apartments in domestic market.” According to him, the realty sector will emerge in more scientific and responsible way with the provision to have prior approvals for land plotting for residential purpose.

However, he pointed on the need to live up to the promises made by the government for the development of the country.

Complaining that the government could not implement its previously introduced provisions, he said, “The sector could not achieve any significant progress earlier chiefly because of the government’s failure to keep its promises.”

He further said that the implementation of announced provisions will depend on how quickly the government responses.