27 June - 3 July 2014 #713

Together for development

Interview with NC lawmaker Gagan Thapa, BBC Nepali, 25 June

BBC: Constituent Assembly members of Kathmandu recently submitted a 20-year Unified Kathmandu Valley Development document, what does it comprise of?

Gagan Thapa: The document encompasses mid-term and long term solutions for Kathmandu, and will act as a guideline for the valley’s planners. We hope to add more issues in the future.

Will this document assist existing and future government plans for Kathmandu’s development or is it a completely new concept?

This document was prepared in consultation and with participation of Nepal Government officials, so it doesn’t stand in opposition of what is being done. We are only proposing that the way things have been done needs to be changed.

Although the document doesn’t propose new things, why does it put forward the formation of a committee to implement its long term vision?

First of all there is no coordination among the various bodies working for Kathmandu’s development, which is needed for administrative efficiency and to better manage within the existing framework. Acts governing municipalities and metropolitan cities also need to be amended so that these bodies have effective control over development projects which also help reduce duplication.

There has been no effort from your own party, which has been in power several times, to reform the existing practices you are complaining about.

This is why the time has come for the reform to start. We cannot hide the mess that Kathmandu has become, we have a vision to change Kathmandu into the liveable city that it used to be.

How is this document different from other plans and projects that have not been implemented in the past?

This is the first time we have taken initiative as elected people’s representative to look into the failure of previous development projects. We have already begun the first round of discussion with government bodies and hope to take it to the grassroots in three and half years of our tenure. We hope that the discussion that we have started will open room for improvement and further reform.

Listen to the original interview