Six years on, model city development plan still in limbo

Phidim, September 2

Six years have elapsed since the government announced the decision to develop Phidim as a model city.

However, construction of infrastructure required for the same still remains incomplete.

The government had begun construction of infrastructure in 10 cities linked with the mid-hill highway six years ago. Since then, the locals have been dubious whether the project would take off.

Stakeholders have demanded that the government expedite developmental projects in the proposed model cities.

“Though the office of New City Project was established in Phidim, officials didn’t work responsibly from the beginning. Hence, the project has been left in a limbo,” said Senior Vice-Chairperson of Panchthar Chamber of Commerce, Govinda Dhakal.

Availability of technical education and teaching hospital, among other things, were said to be the prerequisite for the development of model cities but these infrastructure have not been developed so far, argued Yudhisthir Raj Amgain, a local.

New City Project Office had announced construction of a public park, conservation of state-owned lands and upgradation of the roads. It had also allocated Rs 42 million for the purpose in the fiscal 2015/16, but in vain.

Stakeholders have accused the state of not making proper strategic plan to achieve the goal. “Though it has been six years, the office has done nothing significant. This is shameful,” said Bal Krishna Ojha, Panchthar chairperson of Federation of Non-governmental Organisations.

However, New City Project Office Chief Dinesh Krishna Patel claimed that his office had drafted strategic plans and assured that the plans would be implemented soon.