KATHMANDU, July 15
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is all set to create more open spaces for the safety of people during disasters.
At present, there are 83 open spaces in Kathmandu which the metropolis said were not enough for temporary settlement of survivors in the aftermath of mega disaster like the April 25 earthquake.
In order to create additional open spaces, the metropolis has planned to procure privately owned buildings and land in city’s core areas. Likewise, land possessed by the government and semi-government institutions in city’s core areas will be procured to expand the open spaces.
Rudra Singh Tamang, Chief Executive Officer at KMC, said, “The government and public will not be allowed to construct physical infrastructure in open spaces owned by KMC. But they can assist in developing green open spaces.”
Schools and training centres will also be merged to create open spaces. Factories and prisons will be relocated to alternative places. Some of the schools and training centers of the city’s core areas will be relocated to Kirtipur Municipality, said Tamang.
He added that KMC will approach the government to plant trees in open spaces to continue ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign’. KMC will partner with private stakeholders for the development of lush green open spaces, said Tamang.
“The business projects will not be allowed in empty land owned by government, social, educational and public institutions within the premises of metropolis. But empty spaces must be converted into green open spaces, recreational parks and gardens,” he suggested.
The metropolis has already conducted one round of discussion with the government to relocate the Central Prison, Dilli Bazaar Prison and Nakhkhu Prison to Nuwakot to create open spaces.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Prakash Man Singh stressed that KMC should establish open spaces in all 35 wards of Kathmandu through legal process and scientific approach.
“KMC should design modern parks of international standards in the open spaces. Green open spaces can be recreational centres for the visitors and safe zones during the disaster such as earthquake,” said Singh.
Finding open spaces in the immediate aftermath of the massive earthquake of April 25 had emerged as a massive challenge for authorities. The government in yesterday’s budget also announced that it will arrange one open space for every 25,000 population in the Kathmandu Valley, for which measures will be introduced.
A version of this article appears in print on July 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.