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Capital’s road expansion: easy to demolish difficult to build

By Bikas Lohani, Kathmandu, March 29: After the government started works to expand capital’s narrow roads despite some protests from the residents, overall, they have been lauded by one and all.

Some locals have, however, accused the government of unleashing dozer terror without consulting the concerned landlords of structures including houses, sheds, walls etc. However, there have been voices that proper compensation should be given for demolishing of structures made after approving designs, which is but natural.

 

But the obstruction in some places where structures are demolished which were built by encroaching state land without maps, and MPs and political personalities of the area to be involved in the protests cannot be taken normally. However, in Balaju and other places, locals also cooperated the works of extension of roads.

 

There can be no differing opinion that Kathmandu’s roads should be expanded as there is the pressure of movement of 1.5 million vehicles and bearing the brunt of five million people. But some locals blame that the structures were bulldozed suddenly without any plans in the enticement of the political leaders who do not need the votes of Kathmanduites.

 

So far, some 20 kms of roads have been widened by pulling down structures in 25 places from Maitighar to Tinkune, Baluwatar, Gairidhara, Teku- Kalimati, Gyaneswor -Naxal, Nag Pokhari of Kathmandu, said the Metropolitan Traffic Police Office.

 

Time was given to land lords for removing illegal structures in places like Lajimpat and Gyaneswor, but they did not comply.

 

The roads are now dusty, and fallen electricity and telephone poles and structure’s debris are seen scattered everywhere, which gives the capital now an ugly look.

 

The government has said that the houses and sheds built before 2033 BS will be given compensation that of prior to fixing of standards by the government and will not give any compensation for structures built later by breaching rules.

 

Structures built illegally contrary to the municipality work standards 2064 BS have been removed as per the Town Development Act 2054 in Kathmandu valley, said the Town Development Committee.

 

Under the Act, roads can be widened 62 metres in Ring Road, 50 meters in highway, and 22 meters in main roads and 11 meters in branch roads.

 

Town Development Chief Dr. Bhaikaji Tiwari urging to apply with documents if road is expanded in the personal land, said compensation will be given from the body that has passed the design if maps are passed even by encroaching the land of the road.

 

He claims that the structures demolished now are as per the rules.

 

Lawmaker elected from Kathmandu Constituency No. 5 Narahari Acharya says no one opposes the expansion of road and development but the government should give compensation of the property by discussing with the stakeholders.

 

 

Accusing that the government bulldozed the private property rampantly, Rajesh Adhikari of Lajimpat says it should be expanded by taking suggestions from the locals.

 

The Development Committee under the parliament has also directed the government to give compensation while demolishing structures that have built with standards.

 

Minister for Physical Panning and Works Hridayesh Tripathy while stating that the demolition will continue on illegal structures, said that the government was implementing the rules made by the past governments.

 

Expressing worries that works could not be speedy in construction where there is expansion, the prime minister has directed to the concerned bodies to build quality roads with less damages by coordinating with the local residents.

 

He has been emphasizing that this work should be moved ahead and nothing should be lacking as it is as part of the special national campaign.

 

The Department of Roads has estimated that the construction of these roads will need Rs. 450 million.

 

A meeting held under the chairmanship of prime minister has decided to start construction of roads from mid-April or beginning of Nepali New Year after demolishing, removing poles by mid April by giving high priority in the road expansion.

 

The entire intellectuals and civil society aspire that these development works in the Kathmandu valley started with a long term vision for the benefit of the people should not be hindered with political vested interests and all sides should cooperate and co-work in its favour. RSS (Translated by Tirtha Bhattarai)

Published Date: Saturday, March 31st, 2012 | 12:28 PM

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