KMC preparing to declare New Road area ‘'No Vehicle Zone'

Published On: January 25, 2024 12:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has prepared to declare the New Road area a 'No Vehicle Zone'.

In the first phase of creating a 'no vehicle zone', parking on the black-topped roads in the New Road area has not been allowed since Tuesday, according to KMC Infrastructure Development Advisor Sunil Lamsal .

Lamsal mentioned that the parking lot has been removed in the first phase, while the metropolis is preparing to implement the pick-and-drop system in the second phase.

“For the first time in 2076 BS, Wheels Truly Yours Company got permission for smart parking. The contract that ended on Tuesday,” he said, “After that we did not renew the contract with that company.”

He said that since the parking agreement has expired, parking vehicles has been prohibited as the metropolis is gradually preparing to declare the New Road area a 'no vehicle zone'. He claimed that the metropolis has also talked to the ward chairman of the concerned ward for that.

"The ward chairman said that removing the parking will affect the business in the area," Lamsal said, "Although initially they were in favor of the businessmen, later there was an agreement with the ward chairman."

Similarly, the metropolis has also put forward a plan to increase the width of the footpath by reducing the width of the road.

There is a plan of the metropolis to extend the existing footpath in Wards No. 22 and 24. For this, in the current fiscal year, the metropolis has also allocated Rs 11.14 million budget under the title of construction and upgrading of various footpaths.

Meanwhile, Mayor Balendra Shah made a unilateral decision without coordinating with the wards, according to Chinikaji Maharjan, the chairman of ward 22.

“The mayor does not have omniscience in everything,” he said. “Before making any decision, discussions should be held with the people's representatives, locals and business people of that area. However, the decision was announced without such discussions.”

A month and a half ago, Mayor Shah discussed expanding the sidewalk in the New Road area. At that time, the people's representatives raised their voice saying that the sidewalk extension is not necessary. However, Mayor Shah said that it would be easier for people to move around easily on the road. After that, there was an agreement only for the expansion of the footpath, according to Maharjan, the ward chairman.

But after the metropolis suddenly removed the parking, the businessmen have been protesting since Tuesday. They said that banning the parking of vehicles will affect their business and they said that parking services should be provided. They claim that even though the metropolis has provided parking facilities, it is impractical.

Businessmen complain that it is not practical for a customer to park at Kathmandu Tower and walk up to the New Road area to buy some goods.

The businessmen also lamented that when parking affects the business of the New Road area, there will also be problems in revenue collection. But the metropolis says that the businessmen themselves should arrange the parking arrangements for their customers.

According to KMC officials, the 'no vehicle zone' will start from New Road Gate.

"There is a plan to extend the 'No Vehicle Zone' from New Road Gate to Bhugol Park, Basantapur Durbar Square, Indrachowk, Asan, Bhotahiti and Jamal Nachghar," said the official adding, "but internal discussions are being held as there is uncertainty as to when it will be implemented."

From Tuesday, the metropolis stopped parking on the black-topped roads in the New Road area, Dharmapath, the road section from Juddha Shalik to Indrachowk, Khichapokhari, Mahabauddha, Bir Hospital. The metropolis has also placed 'No Parking' signs on the roads of the New Road area.

According to the KMC, 300 four-wheelers and 700 two-wheelers can be parked at Kathmandu Tower.

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