BANEPA, March 15: People living in Kathmandu can turn to their cell phones for recourse to their myriad problems and challenges soon.
Under the project named the CityApp Kathmandu, CITYNET, the network of cities in the Asia Pacific, in partnership with Microsoft, is helping to develop technological solutions to urban challenges in the Kathmandu Valley.
According CITYNET press statement, the project brings together government officials, developers, and citizens to conceptualize, build and implement innovative mobile and web applications to promote a healthier, safer, more sustainable environment to live in.
Noornithi Neupane, in-charge of International Relations Department of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), informed that Microsoft had expressed interest to work with KMC at the CITYNET Congress held in Seoul in November 2013.
“KMC has already made policy for the introduction of e-governance to replace manual running of administrative works. The mobile apps will further help KMC in consolidating electronic governance,” Neupane said.
“KMC has already started online and electronic service for land map approval, employee´s management and accounting at the office that have made these service deliveries swifter and prompt,” added Neupane.
He was of the opinion that people will be able to get many information and services from KMC instantly after the development and implementation of new mobile apps.
Over 103 computers engineers and IT professionals have been taking part in the competition to develop the mobile apps to address the pressing urban problems faced by the people. At the competition, which began on Thursday at Dhulikhel Lodge Resort, the participants are expected to submit their design for possible apps in the next three days.
“ONE CITY is both mobile and web app prepared by us. The app keeps the people updated on KMC´s activities through mobile and internet,” said one of the participants, Manohar Shreshtha, of Xmonks technologies.
According to the Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal, which has been coordinating with KMC for the CityApp project, the competing IT professionals would develop mobile and web apps that would help people to deal with problems related to government administration, energy, water, planning, and infrastructure, tourism, entertainment, transportation, among others.
According to the participations of the competition, they are giving final touches to mobile and web apps that would provide information on traffic condition, availability of public toilets, health service, and garbage collection as well as regarding public transpiration and public security.
“From March 13 to 15, Kathmandu-based computer programmers, developers and technology experts will build web or mobile applications to respond to various challenges. After a period of incubation, the applications will be available for use in Kathmandu and Lalitpur and for consumption by other cities in the CITYNET network," reads the CITYNET statement.
“Out of 154 computer programmers and technology experts who had submitted the blueprint of their prospective product, 103 selected candidates have been taking part in the competition. Five best app designers will get a chance to represent Nepal in the World City Summit going to be held in Singapore,” informed Junu Thapa, manager at Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal.