Although the main ruling party Nepali Congress is yet to decide about the candidate for Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor, those aspiring for the important post have already started their campaign. The voters are also considering about various options to elect a capable and dynamic mayoral candidate for the scientific and speedy development of the metropolis. The post of Kathmandu Mayor is considered very important and prestigious, as he or she will have to play major role in welcoming foreign dignitaries such as President and Prime Minister during their visit to the capital city. However, Kathmanduits have not seen any pro-active and capable Mayor after popular Mayor of the metropolis P.L. Singh some three decades back.
Today the once beautiful and historic city Kathmandu doesn’t look like a metropolis, as it has failed to draw attention of concerned bodies to its burning problems such as dust and smoke pollution, garbage management, river management, management of open spaces and traffic problems. ‘Alakapuri Kantipuri Nagari,’ or the heaven like city described by first Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Bhanubhakta has lost its charm and beauty now a days. Now Kathmandu has turned into the jungle of concrete and there are garbages scattered everywhere. The city dwellers have not been able to breathe clean air as they are suffocated by the dust, smoke and sound pollution seen almost every where.
Against this backdrop, an interaction programme was organized in Kathmandu’s Chhetrapati Party Palace with the theme ‘Kathmandu city for healthy living.’ The programme organized at the initiatives of Indra Lal Singh witnessed participation from some four dozen people from Kathmandu including engineers, doctors, professors, business entrepreneurs, politicians, intellectuals, journalists and aspirants of Kathmandu Mayor.
The speakers on the occasion expressed the view that the future mayor of Kathmandu should be capable of solving the burning problems of the capital city such as air and dust pollution, garbage management, traffic and transport management, preservation of cultural heritages and monuments, stone water spouts, rivers and ponds of the city. They also underlined the need for switching to electric buses and cars to solve the energy problem facing Kathmandu city. The rivers of Kathmandu should be revived and open spaces and greenery of the city should be maintained, they pointed out.
On the occasion senior leader of Nepali Congress and the party’s central committee member Prakash Man Singh asked the voters of the city to consider qualification, history and ideology of the political party while casting their votes and not be driven away by cheap and popular slogans.
Meanwhile, Nepal Women’s Association Kathmandu district committee has recommended the name of Sirjana Singh, spouse of Prakash Man Singh and women’s leader of the party for the candidate of Kathmandu Mayor. Singh has been active in politics since her was 16-17 years old as leader of Nepal Students Union and Nepal Women’s Association, affiliated to the Nepali Congress. Other candidates who are aspiring for the post include Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha, the present deputy Mayor and Indra Lal Singh, the younger brother of P.L. Singh, the first elected mayor of Kathmandu. Hariprabha has been actively working for preserving Kathmandu’s heritage and due to her stance the historic Ranipokhari pond was re-constructed by using indigenous materials and technology and original architecture of Nepal. Indra Lal has been actively working for urban development and preserving cultural heritages while he pursued his career with UNICEF for more than two decades.
Other aspirants for mayors are senior NC leader Tirtha Ram Dangol and KMC ward No. 25 chairman Nilkaji Shakya.