The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has decided to revive its plan to pave the streets and pavements in the city’s core areas with cobblestones.
Considering the large settlements in the narrow alleys passing through various urban core areas which were once integral part of the City’s streetscape, the metropolis has given preference to fit the streets with cobblestones instead of blacktopping them.
Though works to pave streets in the urban core areas covering around 8 kilometres with stones was already initiated a year ago, the metropolis failed to give continuity to it. However, before the Saarc Summit, the KMC paved certain road stretches in the Singha Durbar road section with stones.
“One of our main hurdles right now is the Melamchi pipeline being laid everywhere. So, we are currently coordinating with the water authorities, and plan to lay stone blocks in certain stretches in the urban core areas after their work is completed,” said Sanjay Upadhyay, chief at the Road Department at the KMC.
The core areas designated by teh KMC under its Sustainable Urban Transport in Kathmandu Valley include the old markets between east of Bishnumati River and east of Tundikhel. The plan is also to build pavements encircling Narayanhiti Museum, Tundikhel, Thamel and stretches leading to Ason. The KMC also plans to extend the project to Putalisadak and Tripureshwor areas.
Upadhyay said cobblestones will be used to pave these areas considering huge number of population using these streets and pavements on a regular basis.
“Unlike tarred road, stones require less maintenance. It is also impossible to blacktop these areas because of the large number of people using them on a daily basis,” Upadhyay said. The stones are also resistant to drainage and are reusable.
With a total budget of Rs 270 million, eight kilometres of pavements in the city’s core areas will be revamped in the initial phase under a partnership project between the government, Asian Development Bank and the KMC.