Against what many feared unlikely after the SAARC summit, the government has given continuity to city beautification works in the capital even after the summit.
As part of the city beautification work, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) office has started upgrading footpaths in the core area of the city. The upgrade work had been halted after the summit. But KMC has resumed the work two weeks ago.
“By giving continuity to beautification works, we want to show the people that the government does not beautify the city only to welcome foreign dignitaries,” said Shanta Ram Pokharel, spokesperson for KMC.
According to the KMC, the upgraded footpath in the central area will be disabled-friendly.
By removing concrete blocks from the footpaths, the KMC is covering it with interlocking paving stones in line with the practice in developed countries, according to KMC. Likewise, it is also going to construct ramps so that people with disabilities can easily gain access to footpath.
The KMC is upgrading footpaths along Kantipath, Tripureshwar, Thapathali, Putalisadak, Sahid Gate, Bhadrakali, Durbar Marg and Singha Durbar with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the Kathmandu Sustainability Urban Transportation Project (KSUTP).
During the SAARC, the KMC had upgraded footpaths along Singha Durbar-Bhadrakali road stretch.
Pokharel said that the stone-paving on the footpath is likely to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the city.
“The sidewalks will be 3 to 6 meter wide,” said Suraj Shakya, chief of the KSUTP implementation unit at KMC. The footpaths are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 220 million.
He maintained that as the stones are sturdy and will be in different designs and colors, the sidewalks would not only be durable but also colorful. “Apart from beautifying the city, the footpaths are also being upgraded to promote walking culture in the capital,” said he.
Likewise, KMC has also resumed a drive to remove hoarding boards in the city that were not removed during the summit. On Thursday, it ordered the Civil Aviation Office at Tribhuvan International Airport to remove illegally erected hoarding boards inside the airport.