World Car Free Week has brought some good news for amblers in Kathmandu as old quarters of Kathmandu has been declared vehicle-free for a week until September 27.
It was the first time that the government offices, non-government organizations and locals came together to initiate such an event in Kathmandu.
As part of the week-long program named Hidau Kathmandu, traditional pedestrian routes of the capital would be revived with community participation. For this, Janabahal-Kilagal, Basantapur, Satghumti and Bhagwan Bahal in Thamel, Teku Dobhan-Kaalmochan and Durbar Marg would be open only for pedestrian movement on various dates.
“The vehicular restriction will be observed to display the traditional way of life, various sports and cultural programs,” said Heritage Division Chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Shriju Pradhan. Street art, ethnic ramp walks, traditional music, documentary screening and cycle stunts would be organized on the streets.
The program is already receiving overwhelming positive feedbacks from the local residents and entrepreneurs who had been calling for vehicular ban in and around ancient localities, added Pradhan.
“We held several round of discussions with the traffic and the KMC to extend the vehicular restriction hours in certain areas,” mentioned Kamana Manadhar, program coordinator at RECPHEC Nepal.
The vehicles would be restricted at Saatghumti of Thamel on Monday from 1pm to 8pm, said Gita Gurung, executive member of the Thamel Tourism Development Board. She added that the campaign would also boost the plan of the Thamel entrepreneurs to revive Saatghumti area that is currently in a pathetic state.
The program would help materialize the KMC´s long delayed plan to develop eight kilometers stretch of Kathmandu´s old markets vehicle free, added Manandhar. This campaign would be continued with similar programs once a week or month in the coming days, she added.