KATHMANDU, April 28: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) on Saturday demolished 52 structures built illegally on public land at Khulla Manch at the heart of the capital city.
The move comes amid public pressure against the construction of those structures for business purpose.
KMC said it demolished the structures upon the directive from the District Administration Office, Kathmandu.
Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kathmandu Ram Prasad Acharya stayed at Khulla Manch for hours until all the structures were razed by bulldozers.
KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya remained at the incident site only for the first half an hour.
CDO Acharya said that the District Administration Office (DAO), Kathmandu, had come to the aid of the metropolis for demolishing the structures and for security.
“The metropolis had requested us to assist them in the bulldozing process,” he said. “As many as 52 structures that were built without signing an agreement with the metropolis have been demolished.”
He added that structures such as toilets, canteen and public bus ticket counters built in the area were not affected by the action.
Earlier, a section of social activists had submitted a memorandum to the KMC’s Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi demanding the dismantling of the illegal structures constructed at Khulla Manch. They even warned to demolish those illegal structures themselves if the KMC turned a deaf ear to their request.
On Friday, Mayor Shakya had asked deputy mayor Khadgi to conduct an inspection of the structures built on encroached public land in Khulla Manch. Khadgi was supposed to submit a report of the inspection on Sunday but Mayor Shakya took the decision to demolish the structures on Saturday before reviewing the report.
Various entities had occupied Khula Manch, threatening the very existence of the historic ground for public gatherings at the heart of the capital.
KMC had taken half the open space when it shifted the old bus park there. The move was widely criticized and seen as an encroachment of the public land on the pretext of setting up a temporary facility.
Bir Hospital has also constructed three prefab structures inside the public space with the purpose of running an emergency field hospital. According to officials of KMC, the field hospital was constructed without taking permission from KMC, the body responsible for the protection of open spaces within the metropolitan city.