Occupy Tundikhel campaign concludes

Kathmandu, February 1

The three-month-long Occupy Tundikhel campaign concluded with a programme organised here today.

Campaigners said that they were successful in spreading awareness about the importance of open space in urban areas through Occupy Tundikhel campaign. Sanjay Adhikari, an activist, said that in the last three months they had been successful in making people aware about the history of Khula Manch.

Occupy Tundikhel campaign, however, was not well received by Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Mayor of the metropolis Bidhya Sundar Shakya had publicly said on many occasions that the campaign was nothing but a political stunt.

Having failed to get the expected support from the local level, the campaigners have now decided to approach provincial and federal governments to get their demands fulfilled.

Adhikari said, “We will now meet lawmakers of the federal Parliament and Provincial Assembly. We will also knock the doors of National Human Right Commission and other international agencies to free Khula Manch from illegal encroachment and ensure easy access to Tundikhel for the general public,” Adhikari said.

The campaign was launched on November 9 last year in the presence of hundreds of children, elders, activists, leaders, members of civil society and journalists in a bid to exert pressure on the government to vacate Khula Manch, a part of Tundikhel, and spread awareness about the importance of open spaces.

Tundhikhel and Khula Manch had provided refuge to thousands of people during the 2015-earthquakes. Located at the heart of Kathmandu, Khula Manch once used to be a major venue for holding all kinds of political assemblies and protest programmes.

However, after 2015-earthquakes the area was leased out to private vendors.

More than two-thirds of the area has been occupied as storage area by various development projects like Dharahara while it has also been serving as bus park and parking lot, leaving no space for the public.