Last November, greenery combined with fresh saplings, shrubs and herbaceous plants suddenly appeared along the streets of Kathmandu , the otherwise grey urban area choking in lack of adequate green spaces.
As part of the city beautification projects carried out ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit, Valley authorities, including both public and private institutions, joined hand to transform the cityscape fighting over vanishing greenery and open spaces through tree plantation, clean-up and construction of green belts along the main streets.
However, less than three months down the line, many newly-planted trees along the busy road stretches, including the Maitighar-Tinkune and other adjoining sections, have started dying out owing to the lack of proper maintenance. According to the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA) which oversees the city beautification activities, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City is responsible for looking after the overall greenery projects while Agricultural Development Bank and Nepal Telecom have committed to maintain the plants on the Tinkune-Maitighar road. Likewise, the Nepal Electricity Authority is charged with operating and maintaining street lights and the Department of Roads is responsible for completing the construction of expanded roads. These stakeholders were also responsible to maintain greenery and install fencing structures.
According to KVDA chief Bhai Kaji Tiwari, the organisations that were committed to take care of the plants have not performed regularly. He said there is lack of coordination among the partners to sustain the greenery. He also informed that they are now planning to replace the dying out plants and urge the concerned authorities to look after them. Various plant species such as masino khapate (Actinodaphne longiceps), holy tree (Ilex doniana), Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), flowering peach (Prunus persica X hybrida), swamp paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia), privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium), golden duranta (Duranta repens) and azalea (Azalea indica) were planted to enhance urban greenery.
Ranta Park to reopen next month
KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), which is busy upgrading the Ratna Park to attract people for relaxation and leisure, is planning to reopen it to the public from the end of next month.
According to Shanta Ram Pokhrel of the KMC, they have planned to transform the area into a proper park. “We will not be allowing anyone to operate illegal shops and businesses in the park,” he said, adding, “We are also constructing proper toilets right now.”
The park is also being equipped with a water fountain as well as chairs and shades for people to relax.
The KMC also plans to charge minimum fee for visitors after the ongoing renovation is completed. This will help the KMC generate revenue to maintain the park and keep the decoration intact in future. Metropolis officials said they are waiting for a report to be forwarded by the Environment Ministry which will determine the entrance fees. The metropolis invested around Rs 8 million to redecorate the park as part of the Saarc beautification projects.
Currently, the metropolis is working to preserve and restore old monuments inside the park. For years, the park was undermined by the authorities as it was never maintained and decorated.