Focused on good governance, infrastructure and social development

How would you rate your five-year term?

After the elections, we were determined to work in the spirit of the constitution. We scored ourselves 70 out of 100. As Budhanilkantha is a new municipality, formed after merging some former village development committees, we had additional challenges compared to other local units. The first thing we needed to focus on was setting up the basic infrastructure, as we didn’t have a real office. Among the 18 communes in the Kathmandu Valley, we were the first to have our own administrative building. Also, since we had to go from a collection of villages to a single city, we had to develop things with the prestige and essence of the capital in mind. So I’m very pleased with what we’ve accomplished over the past five years.

We have focused on five elements: good governance, infrastructure development, social development, economic prosperity, and environmental and disaster management.

How has your municipality coped with the Covid-19 pandemic?

We had 40 million rupees as covid crisis management fund. Our main target group was to support daily workers, as they had next to no savings to support themselves during the pandemic. We helped them in many ways, sometimes with cash donations and sometimes with free meals. Even after the pandemic situation became normal, we continued to help citizens in need by reducing taxes in many services.

How is your community different from others?

All 753 local governments are different from each other based on their needs, resources and capacities. The municipality of Budhanilkantha needed schools and community hospitals and we built them. We have also connected drinking water pipes to each household. It was a project that cost Rs2 billion.

What have you done to improve service delivery to people?

Every day, I meet about 200 people from my commune. I sit with them and listen to their problems. I also try to address their concerns as soon as possible. We tried to make people feel that their local government is there for them. We respond to the concerns of every group and community. We have created wellness clubs for women, children, youth, students, seniors and others.

We also help pregnant women by taking care of their health and nutrition and taking care of all expenses. We have also opened public Montessori schools for children. For young people, we run various counseling sessions to support their emotional and psychological well-being. We have also created employment opportunities for adults and provided health care services for the elderly. In total, Budhanilkantha Municipality provides 38 types of services to the people. I believe that we have largely met the needs of citizens.

How is your coordination with neighboring municipalities going?

Being in Kathmandu Valley, there are many things that we cannot do alone, such as drinking water issue, drainage, dumping ground, etc. We must work with other municipalities and state agencies on most development projects. It certainly slowed down the pace of our development. In some cases, poor coordination has also led the Nepal Electricity Authority and the Nepal Water Supply Corporation to dig up the recently paved roads. This is an issue that we plan to fix in the next few days. Regarding coordination with neighboring municipalities, we have communicated and collaborated as needed for projects such as river cleaning, river corridor management, urbanization, waste management, water supply and security.

What are your agendas for the next municipal elections?

Over the past five years, we have worked with a focus on good governance, infrastructure development, social development, economic prosperity, and environmental and disaster management. Citizens have witnessed the improvement in these five areas, and they are happy and satisfied with my work. But there are still a lot of things we need to improve. We need a sustainable development plan. This will be my program during the next elections.

Presentation of the Municipality of Budhanilkantha

Budhanilkantha Municipality, located in Kathmandu District of Bagmati Province, was formed after the merger of the six former Village Development Committees: Chapali, Bhadrakali, Khadka Bhadrakali, Chunikhel, Mahankal, Vishnu Budhanilkantha and Kapan on December 2, 2014 The municipality has 13 districts. . Budhanilkantha is home to important religious sites like Budhanilkantha, Chandeshwar, Rudreshwar, Bhadrakali, Panchakanya, Kapan Bangalamukhi. The famous Kapan Gumba and several other monasteries are also located in Budhanilkantha.

Besides, rivers like Bishnumati, Rudramati, Dhobikhola, Yagyamati and Chyanekhola also flow from this region. The municipality shares borders with Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Tokha Municipality and Nuwakot District.

Message from the mayor

I thank all the residents and constituents of Budhanilkantha Municipality for believing in me for this position. Five years ago, my office had neither the idea nor the basic infrastructure to start the work, because we were a new municipality. But despite all the obstacles, we performed very well. The progress has been noted by local residents.

Still, the local government could not fulfill many things it had promised before the elections. This was largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, we also had limits on resources.

Finally, I would like to ask everyone to vote wisely in the upcoming local elections.

Joel C. Hicks