KATHMANDU, July 16: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has directed concerned government authorities to fix water-logging on the streets in the Kathmandu Valley with urgency.
In an urgent meeting called on Sunday, Prime Minister Deuba directed ministers of concerned line ministries, chief secretary, senior officials of the Department of Roads, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and the road expansion projects in Kathmandu to immediately address the waterlogging on the roads and repair potholes and leakage of sewarage in the Kathmandu Valley.
Prime Minister Deuba had called a meeting after a child died after being swept away by sewarage drain in Nepaltar of Kathmandu on Friday while another child who was also swept away by drainage water in Samakhushi on the same day.
The child killed in Nepaltar was Binita Phuyal, a third grader at a local school. Likewise, Satya Sapkota of Samakhusi who was swept away by drainage water was rescued by locals.
According to a press statement issued by Prime Minister's Secretariat, Prime Minister Deuba directed the ministers and the officials to make sure that such incidents do not recur.
"In Kathmandu, it is difficult to identify whether they are roads or drainage canals. School children heading for schools have fallen into sewers. It is a shame to call Kathmandu a metropolitan city given the sorry state of its roads," the prime minister said.
"I am ready to provide all the support needed to fix the roads. Please start your work immediately to fix the drainage system and make the roads free of potholes," he further said.
"Bury all the potholes and repair the broken sewerage system within 15 days. Also, repair the electricity poles that have fallen," the prime minister instructed the officials.
Deputy Prime Minister and Local Development Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, Minister for Urban Development Prabhu Sah, Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishore Chhetri, secretaries at the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Physical Planning and Transport, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Drinking Water, Director of Nepal Telecom Authority, Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority and officials of other concerned government authorities were among those present at the meeting.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Deuba also directed Nepal Telecom, Nepal Electricity Authority and the Department of Roads to ensure better coordination in their respective works. "Why do you dig the roads three times when digging once is enough? You should ensure better coordination," he said.
Bibeksheel Nepali nudges mayor
Concerned over the waterlogged and broken roads in the capital city, Bibeksheel Nepali on Sunday drew the attention of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya.
A delegation of Bibeksheel Nepali led by Biraj Bhakta Shrestha submitted a memorandum at the metropolitan office on Sunday afternoon.
The delegation that included the party's Kathmandu's mayoral candidate during the local election Ranju Darshana reminded Mayor Shakya of his pledges to make Kathmandu one of the best cities in the world within 100 days. "People's representatives are the guardians of the people. Repetition of similar incidents in the future cannot be ruled out if they [people's representatives] did not pay attention to this problem," read the memorandum submitted to Mayor Shakya.
The party has urged the mayor to give priority to works such as drainage management and road expansion. The party has also urged the metropolis to take necessary action against engineers and contractors working in irresponsible manner.