Dipesh Shrestha/Republica Candidates for mayor of Kathmandu participate in ‘Kathmandu Bahas’ program organized at Kumari Cinema in Kathmandu on Monday. The program was broadcast live on television and social media.
KATHMANDU, May 9: Several mayoral candidates of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) have expressed commitment to make Kathmandu pollution-free in their five-year tenure, if they win the elections.
Speaking at a joint debate program ‘Kathmandu Debate’ on Monday, they claimed that they would work to introduce pollution-control mechanisms in the capital city.
As the election fever grips the country, the capital city is eager to welcome its leader through the May 14 elections.
Kishore Thapa, the mayoral candidate from Sajha Party, said that controlling the pollution in Kathmandu will be one of his major tasks if he wins the election. “The pollution in Kathmandu is caused by unmanaged road expansion, uncontrolled vehicles, brick factories, lack of proper public transport etc,” said he, “Freeing Kathmandu from dust will be my first priority.”
To reduce the pollution in the city, Thapa said, the KMC will focus on introducing electric vehicles and mass transport system. “Nepal is the only country in the word that has not operated public buses in cites. So, the KMC under my leadership will introduce public transport and that will serve the Kathmanduites 18 hours every day.”
A report by a Serbia-based research company Numbeo listed the air quality of Kathmandu as the 7th worst out of the world’s 209 cities and 3rd in South Asia in its 2017 report.
Another candidate Pawitra Bajracharya, too promised to make Kathmandu pollution-free during his term.
“Developing metro rail and monorail projects is not the biggest need of KMC at present. We don’t need the so-called rail projects when pollution is choking our capital city day and night,” said Bajracharya, a joint mayoral candidate from Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Naya Shakti Nepal.
Sarwattam Dangol, the candidate from ruling CPN (Maoist Center), opposed the government’s style of road expansion carried out in various parts of the capital Kathmandu.
“I am ashamed of my own party which has done nothing to resolve the dust problem in Kathmandu despite heading the government,” he expressed his frustration over the unmanaged development of roads. “So, I will use my powers to quickly tackle the pollution problem.”
Laxmi Prasad Bhandari, an independent candidate for the same post, accused the management of KMC of not having any special vision, mission and dedication to control pollution.
“They (KMC officials) lack skills to manage the city and are also not serious about the job,” he said, “So, we cannot trust their working style and should introduce new policies to tackle the pollution problems.”
The candidates also expressed that they will solve drinking water scarcity, introduce effective building codes, initiate steps to make Kathmandu green city, rebuild the heritages collaborating with the local community and so on.
The debate program was held at Kumari Cinema Hall where the mayoral candidates also interacted with some voters. The organizers claimed that the debate was aimed at understanding the mayoral candidates for Kathmandu better. The entire program was broadcast live on different social media and television channels.
Around 28 candidates from different political parties, including independent candidates, are in the race for the coveted post of KMC mayor to be elected through the local polls slated for May 14.