Kathmandu Metropolitan City has said it will remove the bus park from Khula Manch which has served as temporary bus park for the past five years.

Kathmandu's locals, rights activists and some stakeholders had been long demanding that the Khula Manch area be cleared of the bus park and made available to the public as open space.

Talking to THT, KMC's Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi said employees of the metropolis had started working on the issue and were likely to reach conclusion within a few days. "We are working to remove the bus park as soon as possible," he added. KMC's Chief Administrative Officer Rajeshwar Gyawali had told THT a few days ago that they would remove the bus park within a week.

In line with this, Khadgi said talks were held between transport entrepreneurs and other agencies. As per the plan, KMC had proposed that short-route vehicles being dispatched from the Khula Manch should now continue to operate around Ratna Park area according to 'pick-and-drop' modality.

Such public vehicles won't be allowed to wait for passengers for a long time.

Similarly, public vehicles plying long routes to the eastern districts such as Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap and Dolakha would now be allowed to enter Kathmandu. "Talks have been held to relocate open space of Sallaghari for a bus park." The land, which once belonged to former King Birendra Shah, is now under the government's authority.

She further said transport entrepreneurs were positive about the new plan.

"Our long time dream of allowing Khula Mancha to the public is likely to come true very soon," Khadgi said.

The open space of the historic Khula Manch was occupied by private contractors.

They had been using the space at very minimal rent for a long time with tacit support from KMC.

The city government had shifted the Old Bus Park of Kathmandu to Khula Manch in March 2015 claiming that it would build a view tower-cum-business complex, and a bus terminal there.

Contractor Jaleshower Sochhanda Bkoi Builders Pvt Ltd was granted permission by KMC to build some fundamental structures at Khula Manch, such as a restaurant, a health facility, a couple of toilets and two bus stands. However, the contractor had built numerous additional structures.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.