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Editorial: Support KMC regeneration campaign

Editorial: Support KMC regeneration campaign
Many things need to be fixed, or torn down for that matter to turn Kathmandu into a livable city. Our myopic politicians and policymakers have left the metropolis a mess. Now, Mayor Balendra Shah has taken upon himself to clean up this mess. It’s a gargantuan task but Kathmandu residents are rallying behind the young mayor. His latest “bulldozer campaign” to enforce building code by demolishing basement shops, spaces actually meant for vehicle parking, has won him plaudits aplenty. Finally, Kathmandu has a leader who can stand up and show some teeth if necessary. Shah has demonstrated that he is not afraid to take drastic measures, even if that meant ruffling the feathers of political and corporate overlords.

Surely, most of the ward chairs of Kathmandu are not pleased with Shah, who unlike them was elected as an independent candidate. Political candidates could have never done what Shah is doing, because they work at the bidding of their party leadership who are in cahoots with big businesses and corporations.

Things such as infrastructure, transport, education, healthcare and environment determine the livability of a city. Kathmandu ranks among one of the most polluted cities in the world. The perennial waste management problem of Kathmandu continues to worsen, to say nothing of air and water pollution. If drastic and immediate measures are not enforced, Kathmandu will soon become a dangerous city to live in. A message for the city leaders: stand up behind your mayor. For once, Kathmandu appears to have a chance at redeeming itself. Shah does not have a strong political backing. Already, he is facing pushbacks and criticisms. Kathmandu residents and civil society should fully support him at times like these. Shah on his part also needs to amend his ways, because in some places he has been called out for showing rash behavior. While exercising his executive rights, he should be mindful of the constitution and the law. But the bottom line is there should not be any obstructions to his campaign, in any pretext. Shah’s works, though he is still in his early days of his mayoral tenure, show the promise that Kathmandu can do better.