What’s broken?

Kathmandu, August 28:Hanumandhoka Durbar Square area, the place that attracts tourists from far and wide — moreover a pleasant place for locals to hang out — is now a dangerous, chaotic and polluted place. Thanks to the number of vehicles that ply in the area.

The fumes emitted by the vehicles are harmful to the historical buildings and the people.

The honking of cars not only irritates locals and visitors, but also disturbs students at the Nava Adarsh High School nearby.

Scott Berry, who is currently residing in Chibakhel, ward-19, said: “Foreigners are expected to pay Rs 200 to enter this scene of traffic chaos, making Kathmandu probably the only city in the world where pedestrians are actually charged to risk their lives in a traffic jam.”

The Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Conservation Programme is looking after the maintenance and preservation of the area.

However, the vehicles don’t seem to stay away from the area.

Who’s looking into it?

We have deployed civil police, tourist police and community police personnel to make the drivers and mobile restaurant owners about the list of do’s and don’ts as suggested by the Department of Archaeology. We have recently removed food stalls from near Suraj Arcade. We have been requesting drivers to avoid bringing their vehicles to the area. Some more days and we will make the area a vehicle-free zone. — Raju Shrestha, Chief, Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Conservation Programme

What’s fixed?

Kathmandu, August 28:New Road, one of the most important business centres of the country, had always been invaded by hawkers. Pedestrians were finding it tough walking on the foothpaths.

However, the scene is entirely different now. Local clubs there have successfully managed to rid the sidewalks of the hawkers.

Fifteen clubs, under the coordination of Manik Ratna Sthapit, formed a New Road Management Committee (NRMC) that started clearing the sidewalks from August 18. The job was completed on August 26. Areas from Tudikhel Dhoka to Indra Chowk have been cleared.

New Road is also a daily route for people of almost five different wards — 19, 20, 25, 23 and 24.

A meeting between the NRMC, the Nepal Street Vendors’ Association and the Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation on August 26 took a decision that the hawkers would be relocated in other areas nearby.

Who’s responsible?

Hawking in area had always hindered the movement of locals and tourists alike. Street vendors had invaded most of the footpaths leaving almost no place for the people to walk on. Evicting the hawkers was a difficult task as the shops are the means of livelihood for scores of people.

On April 22, the street vendors clashed with us. After various meetings with trade unions, authorities and the vendors, we persuaded them to shift from the main areas.

— Manik Ratna Sthapit, Coordinator, New Road Management Committee