A committee formed to recommend amendments to urban planning regulations after the earthquake has proposed that roads within a municipality should be at least six metre wide while the height of the fence around a house should be limited to four feet.
As flaws in urban development in Kathmandu and other cities of the country were exposed by the recent earthquakes, the Ministry of Urban Development had formed the Urban Planning and Regulation Amendment Recommendation Committee to formulate new urbanisation policies as per international standards. The committee has already forwarded its recommendation to the ministry and is awaiting Cabinet nod, said Bhai Kaji Tiwari, a committee member. The width of major roads inside residential areas should be a minimum six metres so that ambulances and fire trucks can pass, said Tiwari.
Tiwari is also the deputy development commissioner of the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority. The mandatory width of a road within a municipality is currently four metres.
The new provision, if approved, would allow people to buy and sell land connected by four-foot road but to build a house they have to leave space to allow its possible expansion to six metres.
Another major amendment, according to Tiwari, will see that fences around houses are no taller than four feet but installing safety nets up to 1.2 metres high on top is allowed. Nepal’s Building Act (1998) earlier allowed construction of five-feet tall fences.
“Formulation and implementation of a systematic urbanisation policy is long overdue but its need was felt more urgently after the [April 25] earthquake,” said Tiwari.