KATHMANDU, Aug 17: In view of the upcoming BIMSTEC summit scheduled in Kathmandu starting from August 30, the government has started decorating the Kathmandu Valley.
The Department of Roads (DoR) and Kathmandu Metropolitan City have jointly started decorating the streets, their walls and sky bridges. They are planning to set up a welcome gate for the heads of states of seven South Asian and South-East Asian countries. Heads of BIMSTEC members namely—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal—are participating in the summit.
As per understanding reached between the two authorities—KMC and DoR—the repair of roads smaller than 8 meter falls under KMC where as the Department is responsible for maintaining bigger roads.
Also, KMC has already started cleaning up garbage from every nook and corner of the city for proper hygiene. The ill-managed cables and broken electricity wires are being managed and maintained, according to Gyanendra Karki, spokesperson for the KMC.
Potholes and dirt are common on Kathmandu roads. Several roads are not even good enough even for walking. The government organizes such clean-up and road repairing campaigns ahead of organizing such international summits.
Hundreds of saplings were planted along the main roads of Kathmandu when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nepal in 2014 and SAARC conference was organized in Kathmandu the same year.
The authorities, however, said they have no plantation plan this time. “As the city is green; we don’t need to make further plantations.” He also said if the DoR will start doing its job, then the KMC can continue its work easily.
DoR is filling potholes, marking road lanes in Airport, New Baneshwar, Old Baneshwar, Maitighar Mandala, Tripureshwar, Jamal, Maharajgunj, Gaushala, Chabahil, Soaltee Mode and Ring Road areas. “Road maintenance is our topmost priority,” said DoR Spokesperson Mukti Gautam.
As BIMSTEC guests are likely to stay in five-star hotels – Soaltee, Annapurna, Hyatt – so the maintenance activities in these areas have been started.
Torrential rainfall has obstructed the road repairing work, marking of road lanes and other activities, officials said. “The rainfall is disturbing us. So, instead of using bitumen we are using emulsion for repairing roads because it is safe method in rainfall,” said Spokesperson Gautam.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has already instructed the authorities to fulfill their responsibilities so that the BIMSTEC delegates won’t feel anything bad during their stay in Kathmandu.
Even as the authorities have started repairing work, some of the roads in Kathmandu are in worse conditions. The roads at Chabahil, Gaushala and Old Baneshwar are in poor condition.
The locals are facing somehow troubles due to the construction along the already damaged roads. They also came down heavily upon the government for focusing on repairing roads just before major events are organized in the country.
“The current road condition is worse and one can’t walk freely in our areas. But I don’t know why the government seems indifferent toward road condition and thinks about repairing when VIPs arrive here,” said Manisha Bista, a pedestrian.