‘Conserve open spaces’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 15, 2015-

Considering the essential role of open spaces during natural disasters, especially in growing urban cities such as Kathmandu Valley, the government has directed concerned authorities to ensure proper management and conservation of these areas.

The Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA), a government body responsible for planning and management of physical infrastructure inside the Valley, has been directed to conserve and manage existing and newly identified open spaces through a joint coordination with Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Home Affairs.

MoHA has already identified 83 open spaces inside the Valley to be used during the disaster for rescue, relief and other humanitarian purposes.

A meeting held at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers on Wednesday discussed over the concerns regarding the increased encroachment and construction of infrastructure in identified open spaces, and decided to take appropriate measures to protect these spaces for future disaster events.

Availability of open spaces is vital, particularly in areas prone to disasters such as earthquake, floods and fires, among others, according to studies. It was found that general public, government authorities and development and humanitarian organisations utilised open spaces available inside the Valley during the Gorkha earthquake and subsequent aftershocks for various purposes such as safe refuge, rescue and relief management and humanitarian aid.

According to Shanta Raj Subedi, secretary at the Prime Ministers’ Office, there are reports of encroachment of open spaces under the ownership of government and local bodies for various purposes. “There is an urgent need to come up with appropriate working plans on identification, management and conservation of existing and newly identified open spaces and ensure its effective implementation,” he said.

The government has further directed the local bodies to identify additional open spaces and work with the local communities to ensure its proper management and at the same time take action against individuals and groups involved in encroachment of the identified open spaces. Besides the government’s identified 83 open spaces inside the Valley, the KVDA has further identified 887 open spaces.

Published: 16-08-2015 10:00

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