“Who wouldn’t agree to go to a wider place than the narrow roads of Ason?”

<br><P>Keshav Sthapit</P> <P>Commissioner, Kathmandu Valley Development Authority</P>

May 7, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-20 May 04 -2012 (Baisakh 22,2068)<br>

How will you start your work?

I will first develop a place for love in Kathmandu valley. Until the time youngsters get a place to express their love, they will not develop positive thoughts. We don’t have a single place for that. As I have to go forward by taking the support from the youth, my first work will be to develop a place for entertainment.

Then there are issues with landless squatters also. I’m not satisfied with the work that has been done regarding them. Currently there are talks of giving NRs. 15 thousand to each, but I will stop that. There is a big plot at the side of Himal Cement Company.  They can be moved to that place as ‘transit plant’.

Another important task is to clean the rivers. I will also ease the traffic jam problem of the valley within a year after I start working.

What exactly is this authority, as it can do such diverse works, and how is this different from the town development office and the works that it is currently doing?

The authority is intended to carry out planned urbanization of the whole Kathmandu valley by making plans as well as implementing them.  Previously one used to make plans regarding urbanization, then the other would implement it and finally some other would monitor that. Due to communication gaps, taking forward any work was really difficult.

Town development used to only look after a single town. But the authority will address the issue of the whole valley and work for its overall development and will not be limited to a single municipality or place.

If the authority will look after the whole Kathmandu valley, then wouldn’t that limit the boundaries of the local bodies?

No, it will make the work easier. When we tried to bring the water of Melamchi, different municipalities of the valley came up with different plans and it was difficult. So, now it won’t be like that. Not only projects like Melamchi, but even the question of who will run the metro in the valley has now got an answer. There is a provision in the authority that will include all the CDOs, LDOs and other locally elected personnel. Now, all of these people can sit in a room together and take effective actions and it will benefit all.

What experiences did you gain during your tenure in the municipality, will they be helpful now and how?

I didn’t have any experience in the municipality. I only had commitment. Till the time I learned things, the time was over. Now, I have understood, so it won’t be difficult. The empty period during my life has also filled my brain with a lot of things. I got a chance to learn, how the neighboring cities in various neighboring countries were able to develop. I learned there will be no scarcity of money while developing a town. I have now learned the importance of participation from the private sector. Now, I have got a chance to develop the whole valley.

After the formation of the authority, people are wondering how the road expansion drive will go forward?

The expansion process will continue like it has been going on. State is running it under lots of pressure. Sometimes it says the process has been carried out according to the regulations of 2033, sometimes it says some other thing.

Citizens should be made happy.  While expanding the road, people should not feel aggrieved and face problems, rather they should get more benefits. In three months, I will make people to come to the government asking to make the roads wider in their places and it will be just the opposite of the current scenario.

“Who wouldn’t agree to go to a wider place than the narrow roads of Ason?”

Compiled by Debesh Adhikari

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