Commuters fume as KMC closes Khula Manch for four days

  • ordinary citizens’ daily woes
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2018-

The decision of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) to close Khula Manch (Open Theatre) for four days starting from Tuesday has affected the daily routine of hundreds of commuters.

Officials cited the two-day BIMSTEC Summit starting August 30 as the reason for the closure.

MTPD Spokesperson Rajkumar Lamsal said, “We have not taken solely this decision. The KMC requested us telling that they wanted to asphalt the area, and we evacuated it.”

Post enquiries indicated Khula Manch closed without any prior notice at 10 am on Tuesday. This sudden closure put commuters in grave difficulties to reach their respective destinations throughout the day, particularly those using Araniko Highway.

Dolakha resident Ratna Lal Maharjan expressed his anger at the authorities for putting commuters in difficulties.

“They could have informed us earlier, this is really troubling sick people like me. I waited for a bus because I cannot afford to hire a taxi,” he said. He had visited Bir Hospital to consult an ENT specialist for his throat issue. The hospital is located opposite the western entrance of Khula Manch.

Senior citizen Bishnu Timilsena, 60, and his wife Gauri, residents of Banepa were stranded on the street for over two hours, waiting for public transport to travel home.

“My wife and I had an appointment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku. We arrived by bus at 9am today. We waited for a long time to board a public bus,” said Timilsena.

Many passengers like the Timilsenas wondered why the usual hustle and bustle was missing at the bus park. Post staff noticed around a dozen commuters anxiously standing at the gate of Khula Manch, hoping a bus would arrive. Some people were engaged in an animated conversation with a traffic police constable who tried his best to pacify them.

The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) informed passengers they could board buses from Koteshwor, Satdobato, and Kalanki after purchasing tickets from the counter at Khula Manch.

They permitted public transport arriving from Chabahil, Bouddha, Sankhu, Thankot, Kirtipur and Dakshinkali to drop passengers at the Ratnapark.

Since May 2016, Khula Manch is being used as public bus station for commuters heading to Panauti, Dhulikhel, Okhaldhunga, Dolakha Sindupalchwok via Araniko Highway.

The bus station at Purano (old) Bus Park was shifted to Khula Manch to enable the construction of 12-storey multi-purpose Kathmandu View Tower.  However, because of the delay in construction of the tower, the historical open theatre is being used as a bus station.

More than two years have passed, but the main contractor of the tower, Jaleshwor Swachhanda Bkoi Builders Pvt Ltd, is yet to start construction work.

Rastriya Samachar Samiti adds: Authorities plan odd and even number vehicle rationing in the Valley to ease traffic management during the BIMSTEC Summit starting on August 30.

MTPD Chief and Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Panta said, vehicles ending with odd number registration can ply on August 29 and 31 while those ending with even number on August 30.

The odd-even number system is not applicable to ambulances, fire engines, hospital, the Press and tourist vehicles.


Valley schools shut for two days

KATHMANDU: The government has announced a two-day holiday for schools inside Kathmandu Valley in view of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation summit scheduled for August 30 and 31.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology relayed the message for the schools in three districts through local governments to close for two days.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration urged the schools not to operate their vehicles on the holidays to give way for visiting dignitaries from the BIMSTEC member states. (PR)

Published: 29-08-2018 07:29

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