Experts stress need for Outer Ring Road

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 30:

Experts today outlined the need to consider the proposed Outer Ring Road in the Valley as a long term infrastructural development.

Speaking at an interaction on Outer Ring Road and it’s implementation organised by Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ), Kishore Thapa, chief of ORR Project said, “Participating the people affected by the project in different phase of the project and ensuring economic benefits to them would only make the project a success.”

He also said that the ORRP has planned to extend additional facilites like electricity, drinking water, telephone to the areas affected by the road.

He expressed confidence that Nepali technicians, planners and managers are capable of carrying out the project on their own. “China is providing financial support for the project but Nepal is able to complete the project with its own human resource,” he added.

Rameshwore Phuyal, former vice chairman of UML Kathmandu District Committee said that the construction of the road should be focussed on welfare of the people who are going to be affected by the project.

Speakers were of the view that the government should be responsible for the conservation and management of the road and warned against hasty construction which might result in low quality road.

Environment engineer Drona Raj Ghimire, presenting a paper said, “Urbanisation along the Outer Ring Road will endanger the fertile land of Kathmandu and management of the construction materials and disposal of such should also be considered before beginning the project.”

Urban environment manager Navin Devkota, presenting another paper, said, the government should work extensively on where to begin the construction from and that construction of the Kathmandu Hetauda Road and railway service should be given due importance.

With construction of the ORR, the urban sprawl will increase the problem of solid waste management and air pollution.

Moreover, the ratio of 40 per cent green belt against 60 per cent urban structures will be disturbed in the Kathmandu valley, said environment engineer Padman Sundar Joshi.

The Department of Roads has proposed construction of a 66-km-long ORR which runs along the foot hills surrounding the Kathmandu valley (Manamaiju, Dhapasi, Chunikhel, Jorpati, Gothatar, Bode, Lubhu, Bungamti, Chovar, and Naya Naikapa areas).

However, the route of the proposed road is yet to be finalised because several of the village development committees situated on the foot of the hills surrounding the Kathmandu valley have been pressurising the bodies concerned to link their villages.