The kind of development that infuriates the residents

Instead of being elated for reconstruction of the Sanobharyang road connecting Nagarjun from Kathmandu ring road, the residents of a block lying at the right side of the road from the Sanobharyang junction are infuriated of this redevelopment. At this moment, one might find the resident to have gone ludicrous to not cherish and welcome the reconstruction of the decimated stretch that had been troubling the residents, motorists, pedestrians, and businesses alike with cloudy dusts during the dry season and bespattered muds during the wet season. But, the inside story of this redevelopment would convince any sane mind to rather hold the master planner of the redevelopment culprit, which happened to be no other than the government itself. However, before revealing the exact levels of governance and specific departments responsible for the nuisance redevelopment, the scene warrants exposition of the awkward but common illness of this redevelopment that would undoubtedly infuriate its so-called beneficiaries.

But the inside story has no complicated characteristic as one might be expecting. Its just that the road reconstruction passing an urban residence is knowingly happening without any sewerage system build underneath it! How absurd is that!? And, for the record, the few residents onlooking the redevelopment is only infuriated because (1) the redevelopment itself is unsustainable as the sewerage has to be eventually built in later years, of course by tearing down the road and (2) the residents have suffered visibly by lack of systematic sewerage system since settlement began in the area to a point where they would rather prefer a proper sewerage service instead of a blacktopped road unlikely to last couple years.

Despite the simplicity of the issue, the cause behind the issue is regardless bit extraordinary. To cut short, it is a matter of grave lack of interjurisdictional coordination at local-level. To elaborate further, the suffering residence at the right side of the Sanobharyang road from Sanobharyang junction belongs to Ward No. 15 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City whereas the left side of the road belongs to Ward No. 2 of Nagarjun Urban Municipality. Likewise, the sewer pipeline servicing the residence at the right side of the road needs to ultimately connect with the manhole closest to the other side of the road of which the jurisdiction is held by a different local government. And as such, due to lack of coordinated effort between the two level of governments to allow passing of the sewer from the tiny residence lying at the either side of road, the residence is often having to rely on personal septic tanks that frequently need strenuous servicing and emptying. On top of that, the Department of Roads, a federal agency under Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport is the master planner of the reconstruction, and unsurprisingly has no consideration for the lack of sewer facility to service the residence at one side of the road. The hired contractor has clearly expressed his interest to expedite the project regardless of the grave local infrastructural issue that does not concern the agency or the federal government. Alas, the residents at peril has very insufficient time to expedite coordination among the three governments in order to preempt the futile redevelopment before a well encompassing sewerage system is publicly built.

At no avail or expectation, the residents are compelled to build the sewer network at their own expense and haphazardly connect with the manhole system in a makeshift manner regardless of having to pay all sorts of tax to both federal and local-level of government for proper infrastructural services they inadequately receive. If not else, this case provides a common example of how the lack of interjurisdictional coordination between the level of governance in the current federal setup have baffled and disadvantaged the residents at greater length in multiple ways. As such, for the current federal setup to convince its effectiveness through cooperative efforts, it certainly has to serve the citizens and communities at all levels that enables them to clearly observe and experience the convenience.

Prience Shrestha

Prience Shrestha

Prience works in the research department at Samriddhi Foundation. And, he attempts to specialize in the field of Development Economics