Kathmandu, Apr. 12: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has underscored the need of formulating a bill on urban development along with utility corridors to carry out the development and construction works in a coordinated manner.
He also called for an end to the tendency of one utility agency to construct structures and the next one to dismantle them after a few days for lack of coordination.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating a consultative seminar on the Formulation of National Urban Policy, the Urban Development Act and the Utility Corridor Act here today. The seminar is organized by the Ministry of Urban Development.
He said a pilot project would be initiated in some big cities in the coming fiscal year for the implementation of the concept of a utility corridor.
The PM viewed that it is necessary to maintain population balance through the Tarai Madhes-focussed Consolidated Urban Development Programme. "It (the programme) will be expanded to the municipalities in the mountainous and hilly region to discourage migration from the districts of these regions to the Tarai Madhes," he said.
Prime Minister Deuba said that the duplicity in the development and construction works would be removed by amending and integrating the legislations related to urban development. He opined that there would be a face change in the country's urban development with the formulation of the Act related to the utility corridor.
According to him, the government will address the problems and challenges seen in urbanization while increasing access to advanced national urban infrastructures through the new urban policy.
"This will help in the proper resource mobilization for urban development as well as in ensuring inter-governmental coordination and urban good governance," the PM asserted.
Stating that Nepal is among the rapidly urbanizing countries of the world, he said urbanization played a role in the overall development of the country including its economic, social and political development.
PM Deuba stated that although Nepal has been making efforts for systematic urbanization since the Second Five-Year Plan, the cities in the country have not developed as expected. He stressed the need of developing systematic, clean and beautiful new cities and at the same time manage the required infrastructures in the existing old cities.
"It is necessary to urgently start concrete works to bring improvements in the living standards of the people living in the urban areas," he said, adding that the Ministry of Urban Development has prepared the draft policy incorporating various dimensions of urban development, including major challenges, investment in infrastructures, urban governance requirements, etc.
The Prime Minister explained that the draft policy emphasized a coordinated plan formulation and implementation by the three tiers of the government through innovation in the development of advanced, balanced urban systems and investments.