KMC swings into action to remove illegal hoardings

Kathmandu, December 27

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has started removing illegal hoardings, billboards, flex boards, posters and other promotion materials from public places and façades and rooftops of buildings. It has also started removing messy overhead cables.

Chief of Kathmandu Municipal Police Dhanapati Sapkota said areas such as Babarmahal, Tinkune and Kalimati were rid of visual pollutants. “We will also be removing wall paintings and posters pasted on utility poles to make the city visually more appealing,” he said. According to KMC, this move will continue for indefinite period.

Visual pollutants have not only degraded the landscape and skyline of the city but also jeopardised the safety of pedestrians and other road users. The government has formed four task forces led by KMC to make this campaign a success. These task forces include representatives and technicians from the Department of Roads, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Nepal Electricity Authority, Kathmandu District Administration Office and Metropolitan Police Range.

A meeting of stakeholder agencies headed by Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa convened in Singha Durbar yesterday had taken the decision to clear the city of visual pollutants.

The government has also issued a 15-day notice to telephone and internet service providers to remove wires strung on utility poles, and lay the cables underground. If they failed to remove the wires within the stipulated time, KMC will dispose of them.

The government took the initiative in line with the Supreme Court order to remove hoardings, advertising posters, flexes and pamphlets that have caused visual pollution in the city. Recently, a contempt of court case was filed at the apex court for the government’s failure to abide by the SC order passed on 2 September 2015.

Most commercial buildings and public places of the city are now filled with hoarding and flex boards. They can be seen on rooftops, verandas, sides of buildings, utility poles and almost everywhere. Hoardings can also be seen on walls, which can collapse due to the weight of heavy advertisement materials, during disasters like earthquakes, causing injuries and fatalities. Similarly, tangled web of overhead cables also add to visual pollution.