KATHMANDU, August 2
The locals of Rabi Bhawan have taken the initiative to plant saplings on the barren and deserted concrete greenbelts of Soalteemode-Rabi Bhawan-Kalanki stretch to beautify the road and to promote ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign’.
Ram Prasad Tiwari, a shopkeeper in Rabi Bhawan, said about 500 juniper saplings had been planted by locals at a cost of Rs 200,000.
Some pots can still be spotted with plants like cactus, aloe vera, ferns, shrubs, marigold flowers and grass planted by the KMC earlier. But most of the concrete vessels housing plants in Soalteemode have turned barren. Even the paint on the vessels has faded; some of the vessels have even dislodged. “The broken and dislodged vessels pose threat to the safe driving, especially during the heavy traffic flow and traffic jams,” said Buddhi Maya, 27, a local of Soalteemode.
The locals of Rabi Bhawan have helped KMC to revive the lost greenery at their own expense but locals of other places have not come forward to promote greenery
— Rabin Man Shrestha, Chief, Environment Management Division, KMC
Even before the earthquake of April 25, almost all the concrete vessels erected to serve as road dividers, as well as promote greenery, were in a dilapidated condition. The damage caused by the tremors of April and May have only made the matters worse.
Rabin Man Shrestha, Chief, Environment Management Division, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said metropolis needs public partnership to turn barren spaces into green spaces. “The locals of Rabi Bhawan have helped KMC to revive the lost greenery at their own expense but locals of other places have not come forward to promote greenery,” Shrestha said, stressing that the metropolis needed support from the public to revive the greenery in the aftermath of devastating quakes.
According to Shrestha, most of the trees and plants that KMC planted along the city roads in 2014 in the run up to the 18th SAARC Summit have been uprooted and destroyed for road reconstruction and expansion.
More than 15,000 trees and 3,500 types of flowers were planted by KMC. Over 500 concrete vessels and 475 tree guards with trees and flowers were installed along the footpaths and roads of the capital city. KMC had spent around Rs 180 million on its ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign’. “In the subsequent days, the greenery became fodder for stray cattle wandering around the capital roads, while general public plucked and uprooted the plants. “The tree guards and concrete plant vessels were turned into trash bins,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on August 03, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.