Tht watch : What’s broken

Kathmandu, February 19:

Motor workshops situated on either side of the road in Dhunga Adda on the Prithvi Highway have not only been causing air pollution, but are also compelling pedestrians to walk through the main road, occupying two kilometres section of the highway.

“The motor garages and workshops don’t just occupy the footpaths, they also cause land and air pollution of the area,” Krishna Shrestha, a passer-by, said.

A few motor garages in the area have their own sufficient land for parking vehicles, but many of them don’t have land, thus they occupy the footpath area.

Ram Adhikari, a workshop owner, said that he had sufficient area to park vehicles and was against occupying the public land.

It is not only about occupying land, a local said, adding: “It had defaced the beauty of this area.” “All the workshops and garages here are the prime factors for causing air pollution. They should be relocated,” he added.

Deepak Khadka, chairman of Auto-mechanics Association of Nepal (AAN), said: “The motor workshop owners don’t have option to shift their shops. As a durable solution of the problem, we have asked the government to grant us permission to build around five auto villages in the Valley.”

Construction of auto-villages would solve the problems surfacing in other areas, including in Dhunge Adda, he said.

According to the AAN, there are a total of 40 registered motor garages and workshops in the area. Apart from the illegal occupying of the footpath, the serpentine queues of

vehicles due to traffic jam at Kalanki during morning and evening have been adding woes to this problem of locals in Dhunga Adda.

“During office hours, traffic jam at Kalanki makes it a nightmare for pedestrians to reach their destinations,” a local complained.

Who is looking into it:

Earlier, Tinthana VDC had decided to solve the problem through a mechanism. However, it was not possible to put the plan into practice with the dissolution of elected local representatives three years ago. “Now, we are planning to convene an all-party meeting to make a concrete decision on it,” Upendra Kumar Thapa, Office Assistant of Tinthana VDC, said.