Seoul, September 6: South Korea has pledged to support the reconstruction of ancient settlements in the Kathmandu Valley and the development of smart cities.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and Seoul Housing & Communities Corporation (SH Corporation), Seoul signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today on reconstruction of traditional settlements of historical importance in Sankhu, Bungmati and Khokana in the Kathmandu Valley and to develop the adjoining areas as smart cities.
According to the understanding, SH Corporation will provide technical assistance to prepare a master plan of the main settlements and the adjoining areas of the ancient settlements in Sankhu, Bungmati and Khokana, and Detailed Project Proposals for various plans, in the first phase. Funding will be mobilized through the Korean government and private sector based on the project proposal.
Likewise, SH Corporation will assist in the capacity building of the NRA and the KVDA in the context of smart city development.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NRA Sushil Gyewali said the understanding will prove to be a milestone in the preservation of ancient settlements in the Kathmandu Valley and the development of new cities.
CEO of SH Corporation Seiyong Kim said he was happy to be able to share the knowledge and experience acquired by Korea in the context of reconstruction of urban areas and development of smart cities.
Project Director of the NRA's Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Buildings) Naba Raj Pyakurel, on behalf of Nepal, and Executive Director of SH Corporation Hyung Gu Kang, on behalf of Korea, signed the MoU.
SH Corporation is an agency established under the Seoul Metropolitan Government to develop new cities in Seoul region and to construct housing.
During his visit to Seoul, CEO Gyewali also presented a working paper on future action plan for Nepal's reconstruction and situation of international assistance at Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference.
At the conference, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon had emphasized on the need for cooperation among all nations for development of urban areas and preservation of ecology while constructing infrastructure and sustainable development.
The conference has been organized by International Contractors' Association, Korea with support of the Ministry of Land and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea.
It can be recalled that the Nepal government has announced to develop six settlements including, Sankhu, Bungmati and Khokana in the Kathmandu Valley, as heritage settlements and is preparing a comprehensive master plan. The NRA is providing a grant of Rs. 50,000 in addition to the regular Rs. 300,000 to protect the historical and traditional values in private housing reconstruction.
Sixty traditional settlements have been identified in the earthquake-affected areas.
Project Director of the NRA's Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Building) Nabaraj Pyakurel and Chief of Development Assistance Coordination Section at the NRA Divya Raj Pokhrel, among others, joined Gyewali during the trip.