KATHMANDU, Oct 1: Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Jitendra Basnet, has said that the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) cannot close down the Khulla Manch (open air theater) in the capital by locking it.
CDO Basnet said this while speaking at the Road Safety and Traffic Awareness Week 2080 program today. He said that in the past, the open air theater was a place for everyone to openly demonstrate and express themselves; so even now, it should be used as an open air theater.
He said that since the open air theater is of the Nepal government, it is necessary to make an immediate decision on who will use it, whether the metropolis or the federal government. He said that there was a problem in managing the traffic during protests and demonstrations in Maitighar by the protestors who kept the open air theater locked and closed by the metropolis. He said that the daily traffic management from Maitighar to Baneshwar will be easy if demonstrations and protests are held safely in the open air theater.
He said that the roads of the Kathmandu Valley are not used only for the operation of vehicles and from the point of view of safety, the road from Maitighar to Baneshwar is blocked on a daily basis. CDO Basnet said that the government could not even regulate the protestors by making them protest on the roadside. He said that it is necessary to give awareness to the protestors. He noted that when demonstrations come from across the country, there is no place for protesters to demonstrate in the nation's capital.
He said that for a long time, the place where demonstrations, meetings and speeches were held was used as an open air theater, but now it is closed, and it is necessary to systematically use it from the point of view of security. He said that the Nepali people and the demonstrators should be able to express their views in an open air theater. He said one of the reasons for the traffic chaos was the lack of a safe place to demonstrate.