Your policy and program have incorporated a host of subjects. How are you implementing it?
The policy and program are developed by factoring in people’s needs. They are guided by the principle of ‘government in proximity to the people. It covers things like education, health, transportation, communication, religion, culture, infrastructure development, economic transparency, and maintaining economic discipline. However, it is challenging for us to implement them effectively. Therefore, I am fully committed to sincerely implementing them by adopting the zero-tolerance policy.
Why have your policy and programs laid emphasis on the infrastructure sector?
In fact, infrastructure is a prerequisite for development. Otherwise, other stages of development will lag behind. That is why special priority has been given to developing necessary infrastructure in this historical town of Panauti, which is dominated by rural areas. We are interested to develop infrastructure in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach given the limited resources and know-how of our municipality.
How are you implementing projects under the PPP?
The PPP is the popular approach in infrastructure development as no single party can do everything. We want to make the private sector our partner in infrastructure development so that capital, technology, and expertise with private players can be utilized. We are also committed to creating enabling environment for private sector involvement.
You have announced control of the exploitation of rivers in your municipality. How are you implementing this challenging task?
Today’s need is to manage extractions of river products. We will put in place an effective monitoring mechanism keeping in view the possible adverse impact in the environmental impact of these activities. Panauti’s wards no. 2 and 12 are the affected areas due to river exploitation. We are planning to increase investment in these affected areas considering their significant contribution to our revenue generation.
How are you implementing your plans on promoting tourism activities in Panauti Municipality?
I have already said that the development of infrastructure will support the development of other sectors. We have occurred a high priority on developing critical infrastructure in transportation, communication, drinking water, and electrification, among others. Since we can’t deliver such infrastructure only with our own resources, we want to attract private investment. We have identified the huge prospect of developing Panauti as a hub for religious and agricultural tourists, among others.
As envisaged in the policy and program, what kind of small and medium vehicles are you operating?
Some settlements in our municipality still don’t have access to transport and some are not even connected to the road network. Our first priority is to expand and upgrade the road network. Then we will register and grant permission to operate three-wheelers and four-wheelers in the municipality. Such small-sized vehicles offer opportunities to even rural people to get transport services.
How are you implementing some ambitious plans including the construction of the city cycle path, dams at the Ladku river, and infrastructures for paragliding, rock climbing, and recreational activities?
These are not ambitious plans. These are possible to implement if we are really committed to delivering. We have started preparation to map the city ring road and construct and upgrade its tracks. After the successful operation of the Kavre integrated drinking water project, the campaign of ‘one house and one tap’ intensified with engagements with relevant stakeholders including Banepa and Dhulikhel municipalities. As per our plans, places for paragliding and rock climbing will be identified and negotiations with prospective investors will be initiated at the earliest.
Similarly, we have started preparation to implement other projects, including the construction of handicapped-friendly footpaths, as announced in the plan and policy.
How are you arranging the budget for such projects?
We will arrange our own resources for some of the projects, while others will be completed with private investment and support from provincial as well as federal governments.
What is your take on the concept of green infrastructure development?
Sustainable development is a universal concept. It is a worrying fact that the destruction of natural resources is increasing in the name of modernization. Noise, climate change, pollution, land erosion, migration of animals, and destruction of aquatic life have made dark the future of our descendants. Therefore, the concept of green infrastructure will be promoted to safeguard the rights of the people to live in a clean and green environment. We need to develop green parks and gardens in urbanized areas. We need to pay attention to the possible impact on ecology while constructing sewers, bridges, and roads.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Panauti Municipality?
Panauti is the gateway to the south of the district. Enriched with abundant water resources, land, and other natural resources, Panauti is also home to a number of historical, religious, and cultural sites. This municipality also serves as an alternative city that connects the Kathmandu valley and the BP highway. However, we could not change our mindset for a long time, which is a setback in developing Panauti into a vibrant city.
What are the current problems in Panauti and what are you doing to address them?
There are many problems that need to be addressed gradually on a priority basis. Buspark management, upgrading the water supply system, development of the regional stadium, improving the public transport system, providing quality education, improving health facilities, and unemployment, are the key prominent issues.
How different will Panauti be after the completion of your five-year term?
I am hopeful that all current problems will be solved by then with support from the people and other stakeholders. You will be able to make Panauti a beautiful, charming, civilized, and really livable city. We will have made a significant stride in e-governance to offer greater services to the people.