Home Kathmandu Most govt buildings sans KMC approval

Most govt buildings sans KMC approval

Kathmandu, March 25, 2016: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is in quagmire as it has emerged that most of the government buildings in the Capital have not had their blueprints registered or approved by the city authority.

KMC, the sole authority to grant building construction permit, does not even have the data on the number of public buildings in the metropolis. Only 8-10 government-owned buildings, constructed after the 2007 amendment to the Building Act, meet all the criteria, according to chief of KMC’s Urban Development Department Ram Bahadur Thapa. “It is difficult to ascertain the exact number of such buildings as almost all government bodies have their offices in the Capital,” he said.

Under the Local Self Governance Act-1999, it is illegal to construct a building in the municipal area without a prior approval of the mayor. The act states that anyone seeking to construct buildings should first apply for a permit at the municipality in the prescribed format along with a building design.

Only the buildings of Department of Urban Development and Building Construction; Department of Electricity Development, Kathmandu District Court; Ministry of Education; Nepal Telecom, among others, which were constructed more recently, have had their building designs approved, according to Thapa.

The Local Self Governance Act also authorises local bodies to mete out penalties against those not adhering to the rules, including the demolition of the building or any portion thereof.

But Thapa said the KMC is helpless in these cases as the offender is the government itself. “We hold regular meetings with government officials where we request them to register their buildings with us. But nothing has materialised as yet,” he said. The metropolis has, however, drafted laws, to be effective from the next fiscal year, to punish government bodies if they construct buildings without approval or even if they move their office to a non-approved building.

Poor compliance to the building codes has been considered the prime factor for the destruction of a majority of houses in the earthquakes last year.