Kathmandu, January 13

Kathmandu Metropolitan City said it was not obliged to follow the arbitrary decision of the ward chair regarding the decision to bar motorists from parking their vehicles inside Khula Manch, a part of Tundikhel.

Expressing solidarity with the activists of ‘Occupy Tundikhel Campaign’ Chair of KMC’s Ward No 28, Bhai Ram Khadgi last Saturday had posted pamphlets at the gate outside Khula Manch, stating that the area was not available for parking from January 15 onward.

‘Occupy Tundhikhel Campaign’ is being held every Saturday since November 9, in a bid to exert pressure on the government to free the Khula Manch, ensure easy public access to Tundikhel occupied by the Nepali Army and spread awareness about the importance of public spaces in urban areas such as Kathmandu.

The campaign, however, is not well received by KMC Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya, who has many times accused the campaigners of being politically motivated.

While ward chair Khadgi is still committed to his decision, the KMC has expressed concern about Khadgi’s decision, which the local government has not yet been informed about.

“As the elected chairperson of this area, I am obliged to protect the historic place, thus I cannot allow a parking lot inside the Khula Manch,’ Khadgi said.

Spokesperson of KMC Ishwor Man Dangol, however, said the arbitrary decision of a ward chair cannot be accepted in a case like this. “We have not officially been informed about it. The ward chair needs to understand that he will need our support for this,” he said.

The ward chair said to THT he would enforce the rule with the support of city police and traffic police.

One-half of the Khula Manch has been used as a bus park. The remaining areas have been occupied by various materials used for reconstruction of Durbar High School and Dharahara. Dozens of temporary settlements are also found in the area for the purpose of settling construction workers of different projects around areas such as Buspark and Dharahara.