KATHMANDU, July 9
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s city beautification plan, with plants and trees along the roads, has hit a sang, thanks to delay in road reconstruction and expansion.
KMC will not execute its city beautification plan until road reconstruction and expansion is completed, said officials at the metropolis.
Most of the trees and plants that KMC had planted along the city roads as part of its ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign’, in 2014 in the run up to the 18th SAARC Summit, have been uprooted and destroyed for road reconstruction and expansion. The Summit was held in November last year. More than 15,000 trees and 3,500 different types flowers were planted by KMC. Over 500 concrete vessels and 475 tree guards with trees and flowers were installed along the footpaths and roads of the capital city. KMC had spent around Rs 180 million to make Kathmandu green.
But in subsequent days, the greenery became fodder for stray cattle wandering around the capital roads, while general public did not give two hoots, with some engaging in plucking and uprooting the plants. The tree guards and concrete plant vessels turned into dumping trash. As if that was not enough, the road expansion drive did the rest.
Following the earthquake of April 25, KMC’s focus shifted to other essential tasks, and no or minimal attention was paid to save the greenery in the city. “The ongoing road reconstruction and expansion has hampered the greenery campaign. Tree guards have been unistalled and kept in Khula Manch. We will use them later, but concrete plant vessels have been damaged,” said Rabin Man Shrestha, Chief, Environment Management Division at KMC.
The Department of Roads and Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project have been doing the groundwork for the reconstruction and expansion of roads in Ratna Park, Tundikhel, Kantipath, Sundhara, Singha Durbar, Koteshwor-Kalanki, Putalisadak-Bag Bazaar and other major thoroughfares.
But the delay in road reconstruction and expansion in the aftermath of quakes has hampered out ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign, he added. KMC, however, will continue to plant trees and flowers along the banks of the Bagmati River, said Shrestha.
“KMC, in association with the High Power Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilisation and the Department of Forests, is conducting a study to plant trees more than six feet tall at different places along the banks of the Bagmati,” informed Shrestha.
KMC maintains the green parks and traffic island of city roads.
A version of this article appears in print on July 10, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.