Pavements crumble before completion

Kathmandu, July 16

The disabled-friendly sidewalks in central areas of Kathmandu being constructed by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City have started to crumble although the construction works have yet to be completed.

The government had decided to construct stone-paved sidewalks in Kathmandu to make roads more disabled-friendly and enhance greenery. Construction works had started from September 2013. However, the footpaths have started breaking down.

A visually impaired pedestrian Nirmala Sharma said, “I am very happy that the KMC office started this initiative to make our lives easier, but it has actually become more difficult for me to walk on the streets. Often, my cane gets trapped on the broken pavement, and sometimes I even trip and fall.”

Another visually impaired pedestrian Govinda Acharya said, “We are facing more trouble after the start of this project than before.” The KMC has awarded the contract for the project to Lumbini Raman Joint Venture Private Limited.

Building Permit Department Chief of KMC Suraj Shakya said the KMC has developed 3 to 6 metres wide sidewalks along the roads in Kantipath, Tripureshwor, Thapathali, Putalisadak, Sahid Gate, Jamal, Brikutimandap, Kamaladi, and Durbar Marg. But most of the footpaths in these places have broken down.

“This was because the pedestrians walked on the pavements before the construction was completed,” he said. “The massive earthquake of last year also damaged the pavements,” he added.

As part of the Kathmandu Sustainability Urban Transportation Project, the KMC has invested Rs 200 million in the project. The construction of the pavements is set to be completed this September.

“The KMC has finished 99 per cent of the construction works,” said Shakya.