Durbarmarg, the heart of Kathmandu metropolis and a major business hub, is all set to open for 24 hours starting the Nepali New Year day on April 14 and the Thamel area will follow suit the following month, authorities concerned said.
A meeting of officials from the Kathmandu District Administration Office, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Thamel Tourism Development Board and Nepal Police last month had announced to open these two business hubs for 24 hours.
Chief District Officer Ek Narayan Aryal said businesses in Durbarmarg will open round the clock from mid-April but not in Thamel, where preparations are not enough. “We are fully prepared for the security measures in Durbarmarg,” he said, adding that around 18 CCTV cameras are being installed in an area from Narayanhiti Royal Palace to King Mahindra’s statue. Aryal said the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office in Ratnapark will oversee the overall security surveillance in the area. “These CCTV cameras will be connected to the office,” he said, stating that 35 additional police personnel will also be mobilised in the area.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramesh Kumar Basnet said all the businessmen in the area are obliged to install CCTV cameras on their premises. “The owners have to be responsible for their internal security,” he said.
Durbarmarg area has already been equipped with solar-powered lamps as part of Kathmandu Ujyalo Karyakram implemented by the Durbarmarg Development Board and the KMC.
Gopal Sundar Lal Kakshapati, president of the Board, said Durbarmarg will see the initial phase of night life in Nepal. “We are fully prepared now and we are eager to see how people will respond,’” he said. The area boasts over 200 businesses, including two five-star hotels–Hotel Annapurna and Hotel Yak and Yeti, retail stores, restaurants, bars and pubs, jewellery shops, fashion stores and night clubs. Ram Sharan Thapaliya, president of the Thamel Tourism Development Council, said they need one more month to complete overall preparations for night businesses in Thamel.