Nuwakot, March 7, 2017: As part of its local level restructuring plan, the government is set to expand over 15 new cities in Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Rasuwa, among other districts. The plan includes constructing and upgrading essential infrastructures, facilities and utilities.
Praising the vision and aim of the government locals of Nuwakot have stated that they look forward to join hands with it for materializing the plan. Their confidence has been boosted in the plan since the announcement of date for holding local polls- the first local elections of the country since it became a federal republic. They feel that the probability of executing the expansion plan will improve tremendously after the newly elected representatives assume executive responsibility at the local level.
“Locals are very happy and excited about the expansion plan. In fact, they have begun to take interest in all development projects after the local elections were announced.
Ongoing preparation for the elections has given them new hope,” said Keshar Bahadur Pandit, district development officer, Nuwakot. “We have already completed feasibility and other studies necessary for expanding the city planning and look forward that things will go on smoothly,” he added.
Pandit said that the local level election has been received well by the district’s residents stating that people have been talking only about it in teashops, crossroads, and colleges, among others. “When local elections were announced, people were not assured that they would be held because of the unstable political landscape. However, considering the ongoing preparations and conducive political environment, they all felt quite relieved,” he narrated. “With that they have slowly started to pay attention to other activities in their locality. And the news that there is a plan for city expansion in several areas including in Nuwakot, has overjoyed them,” he added.
Nuwakot is basically a hilly district. According to Pandit, the government has planned to expand cities at 10 centers of village councils and two municipalities. “As per the plan, city has been planned at the centers of 10 village councils and two municipalities. The government has already made out an outline for all this,” he explained, adding there would be city expansion in three places in Rasuwa district.
As per the planning of City Development Project, Samaribhanjhyang, Tudimaidan, Baghkhor, Samundratar Kharanitar, Chodake, Ranipauwa, Suryamati, Sherabagar, Dangsing and Khaule, among other areas would be covered by the city planning.
In view of the new planning, locals have already migrated to new places in most of the places. In some areas, the government has issued notice for shifting and provided alternatives to them for relocation. Locals themselves have resettled as per their convenience, Pandit added.
“In Bidur, Kharanitar, and Ranipauwa of Nuwakot, people have already felt the heat. Even otherwise, these locations were burgeoning into busy towns. With the planning there would be more mobility in those places,” Pandit stated. “If you ask about the land transaction here, the value has skyrocketed. Facilities are adding up. Migration is going on rapidly. But then, the government’s focus in on integrated city planning,” he added.
The city development project has prioritized roads, sanitation, electricity, drinking water and other facilities. Similarly, schools, colleges, hospitals, banks and so on are being systematically introduced, Pandit informed Republica. “If things are not done right from the very beginning, it becomes very difficult to fix them later,” he said. “So the city planning office has been taking everything very seriously. All the new cities need to be very well planned, it’s the vision,” he added.
There are number of tourism centers in Nuwakot. Due to the scenic beauty it attracts both internal and foreigner tourists. Pandit states that preserving its natural beauty has also been considered while expanding new cities. “Tourism is greatest strength of Nuwakot. It has huge potential to draw far higher number of tourists than now. And while restructuring of the towns here, the scenic beauty, view towers and the local cultures and environment should not be disturbed. That has been seriously considered in the new plann,” he informed.
Pandit further stated that Rasuwa is no less attractive for tourists and the new cities being expanded there are also going to enhance tourism prospects further. “The beautiful Himalayas are all our assets. Tourists love to come and spend time there to see those Himalayas. When cities are planned, such natural heritages have to be preserved. And if you go by the plan we have been informed of, everything is going to be perfect in the new cities,” he remarked. Right after the local level elections, the government is expected to speed up the city expansion project, he hopes.
By Ram Hari Gajurel