Police blame mushrooming party palaces with insufficient parking for traffic woesDivision office writes to city office and the district administration to set criteria and monitor mushrooming banquet halls.
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has come up with a new finding that mushrooming party palaces such as banquet halls with insufficient parking space for their clients’ vehicles are one of the main causes of traffic congestion in Kathmandu.
A meeting of senior traffic officials at the division on Friday led to letters being sent to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the District Administration Office to monitor party palaces.
“Most of the party palaces are being run without having proper parking spaces. They are using the roadsides and footpaths to park their clients' vehicles. This has long been causing disruptions on the road,” said division chief and Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dhakal.
“We are asking for cooperation from the concerned stakeholders in solving this issue,” said Dhakal.
In recent times, with shrinking open spaces, party palaces are mushrooming in Kathmandu. People host social gatherings for marriage, bratabandha, birthday and get-togethers in festive seasons, but they are unable to find space to park cars and two-wheelers of their guests.
“Almost every day, it's difficult to pass through Babarmahal Chowk in front of the Nepal Art Council because you are stuck by the haphazardly parked vehicles covering half the portion of road and footpath by guests attending the Karki Banquet,” said Nawaraj Pandit, a teacher who has been staying in Babarmahal for more than five years.
Traffic police say they face a hard time managing the wrongly parked vehicles of party-goers in New Baneshwor, Thapagaun, Babarmahal, Tripureshwor, Lainchaur, Maharajgunj, Kalanki, Sitapaila, Swayambhu, and Soltimode, among other places in Kathmandu.
When the Post contacted the Kathmandu Metropolitan City that manages open spaces in the city, it pleaded ignorance. The city also did not have a record of the party palaces registered with it.
“This is a new issue. Nobody had raised this before. We will look at it. We will soon set the criteria for party palaces,” said Kedar Neupane, chief executive officer at the municipal office.
Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal admitted the weakness of the district office in punishing the wrongdoers. “I am also aware of that but this is a sensitive issue. There are many party palaces that cannot accommodate even five vehicles,” said Neupane. “We will soon make the criteria for running banquets, in consultation with stakeholders. We will not allow party palaces to operate until they meet certain criteria.”
Dahal said the district administration will soon coordinate with the metropolitan city to keep a record of party palaces and their status in all the 32 wards.