Ghattekulo for facelift now

Lately expanded unmanaged urban sprawl of Ghattekulo-Anamnagar area is on the way to a facelift, if all goes well to what Kathmandu mayor Keshav Sthapit’s plan on which Kathmandu Valley Mapping Programme staffs are working at present.

Although influential people’s habitat this area in Ward No 32 lacks basic infrastructures like roads and drainage. Sthapit has a plan to develop the area as commercial zone and heads himself a ‘planning implementation committee’ to achieve the goal.

As per the plan, narrow link roads would be expanded as main roads with other ‘scientific extensions’ as link roads. Construction of the drainage system is yet another significant part of the project, as ward chairman Laxmi Prasai said the road construction was useless unless the drains are made in advance.

Shova Rai, a local resident, said that it was like winning a war to come home after jumping over the muddy and slippery roads during wet season. “There are many houses with no drains and the situation of the roads is also the same, no elders or the children can walk on the roads in monsoon with a helping hand,” she said.

Concretised within a decade, Ghattekulo-Anamnagar is considered one of the most unmanaged urban settlements in the valley regardless of the huge investment in lands.

There is no open space with clean environment in the area, no sewage facilities or solid waste dumping site and construction of blocks without planning for the roads has made the matter worse, says Hari Krishna Dhungel, a new settler who moved in buying a house in the area a couple of years ago.

“I can’t imagine how could they make a house without thinking about the approach road!” he said, “There is no way for an ambulance or fire brigade to approach residential blocks in case of emergency.”

Mayor Sthapit also laughs at the situation here. “Many top bureaucrats, businessmen and political leaders are settled in the area, still the area is famous as ‘khasi-chowk’ or the open meat shop,” he said, “I am thinking of changing this name for something else once the project id over.”

The mayor has a plan to generate funds for the programme through local people’s participation. However, he has a fund in the Kathmandu Metropolis Corporation to initiate the project. Once the allocated money is finished, it would depend upon the local’s interest to keep on or give it up.