Leading Articles

Tudikhel encroached

On 4 June Kirat Rai Yayokkha organised traditional Sakela dance at Tudikhel on the occasion of Ubhauli festival. It is a matter of satisfaction that people across all communities came to know about the importance of this festival that is celebrated by Rai community in eastern Nepal in which they worship Mother Nature with hopes for safety of grains. Inhabitants and communities from other districts that have come to the capital in course of education, jobs and health check-up present their cultural processions at times. The venue is Khulamanch (open podium) at Tudikhel. Only political parties and organisations associated with them used to occupy Khulamanch but these days Khulamanch has become the centre of cultural activities.

Authorities concerned should take initiatives in maintaining cleanliness and security of this common ground for Nepalis. Kathmandu Metropolitan City office is responsible for Khulamanch’s maintenance. Army Podium and the southern part are under Nepal Army’s care while remaining parts of Tudikhel (Khulamanch, Ratnapark and Ranipokhari banks) are Metropolitan office’s responsibility.

Tudikhel is in disorder these days. City bus-park near Bagbazaar has been relocated to Khulamanch and it has been encroached. Narrowing of Khulamanch gives wrong hints at physical, cultural and political level. Most importantly, this decision has added the problem of air and sound pollution on patients and health practitioners in Bir Hospital nearby with this foolish decision of the Metropolitan office. Relatives of the ill have to suffer for nothing. People’s health has been played with.

Metropolitan office’s decision to relocate bus-park to Khulamanch for five years is related with giving license to a company to build Kathmandu View Tower in bus-park area. The tower will be leased for commercial purposes. Ignoring common people’s facilities and allowances a chunk of public land in the heart of Kathmandu has been given to a business group for profit. This is abuse of authority and CIAA’s attention can be drawn to this issue.

Since this arbitrary decision affects public health and harms a huge number of people, it is deplorable. Metropolitan office, which does not have people’s representatives for the last 15 years, has made this kind of insensitive decision. Civil servants rule the roost there and its line ministry is Kamal Thapa’s Local Development Ministry. Thus, Thapa needs to take moral and administrative responsibility of the unruly condition there.

Thapa can be asked a simple question: Is view tower Kathmandu’s priority? The answer is no. An open ground outside Ring Road can be selected for the tower to be built, if necessary. Martyr’s Garden in Hetauda is a far away from the city and Kamal Thapa, a Hetauda-local, knows about it.

It is the duty of the ministry concerned to stop all activities regarding Kathmandu view tower. Bus-park should remain at its place and Khulamanch should be kept open. If the executive is reluctant to take this step in public benefit and interest, any organisation involved in civil rights has to file a writ at the Supreme Court for legal remedies. Media will provide appropriate help and support in such work for public benefit.