KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Almost over 17 months after the devastating earthquakes of last year, the government has decided to enforce the National Building Code in all the 217 municipalities and other urbanizing villages with over 1,000 households.
A cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar on Sunday gave a green signal to the Ministry of Urban Development to publish the names of all the municipalities in the Nepal Gazette, the official government journal, and vilages with over 1,000 households where the National Building Code will be enforced. As of now, the building code was enforced in only 58 municipalities but the building codes were not effectively implemented.
But with the cabinet’s decision, all the locals residing in the 217 municipalities and villages with over 1,000 households should compulsorily follow the building code while carrying the building construction. The local authority will not approve any building design that is not in line with the code.
Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki said that the cabinet made the decision with the aim to build earthquake resilient buildings in the urban areas of the country in the post-earthquake scenario.
The government had come under widespread criticism after last year’s earthquakes for its inabilitiy to effectively enforce the building code. After that, the Ministry of Urban Development decided to revise the building code and made some amendements to the code. “So, by revising the code, we decided to extend the enforcement of the building code from 58 to 217 municipalities and other urbanizing villages,” Spokesperson of the minsitry Shiva Hari Sharma said.
Though the government has decided to implement the code in the existing local bodies, the local bodies are soon going to be restructured into new village councils and municipalities under the federal system. But the government has yet to make it clear how the code will be implemented in the new local bodies.
Likewise, the government on Sunday appointed three members at the National Planning Commission (NPC).
Wagle returns to NPC
A cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar on Sunday decided to appoint Swarnim Wagle, Prabhu Budhathoki and Dhimendraman Pradhan as NPC members, informed Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki.
Likewise, the meeting also decided to transfer 12 secretaries.
Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari has been transferred from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation while the Western Regional Administrator Gopinath Mainali has been transferred to the Election Commission (EC) and Secretary at EC Sharada Prasad Trital has been transferred to Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation.
Likewise, Secretary Sheedhar Sapkota has been transferred to Ministry of Defense from Ministry of Supplies, secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Laxmi Prasad Mainali has been transferred to the Ministry of Labor and Employment and secretary at Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare Madhu Regmi has been transferred to Public Service Commission (PSC).
Similarly, secretary at the Ministry of Labor Bishnu Lamsal has been transferred to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, secretary at Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Arjun Kumar Karki to Nepal Trust, secretary Mahesh Kumar Dahal to Ministry of Youth and Sports, secretary at Nepal Trust Bhim Upadhyay to the Water and Energy Commission, Tourism Secretary Prem Bahadur Rai to the Ministry of Supplies and Secretary at Water and Energy Commission, Dhan Bahadur Tamang to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.
The meeting also approved the resignation of Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Mukesh Raj Kafle.