Kathmandu Metropolitan City demolishes illegal structuresCity authorities are clearing shops set up illegally and businesses operating out of basements of big complexes.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City has intensified its drive to dismantle illegal structures and clear shops run out of the undergrounds of business complexes in the city.
On Wednesday, the City authorities, in the presence of Mayor Balendra Shah, demolished illegal structures in front of Kathmandu Mall in Sundhara, RB Complex in Khichapokhari, and London Pub at Durbar Marg.
“We cleared all the illegal structures at New Baneshwar, and now we have intensified our drive in the New Road and Durbar Marg areas today,” said
Raju Nath Pandey, the newly elected chief of City police.
Earlier, on July 18, City authorities had issued a 35-day notice to vacate such underground areas but many business operators paid no heed to the order.
“Businesses are being run out of basements of various private buildings that are meant for parking or for storage purposes,” Pandey said. “We are gradually going to clear all such structures within the city.”
With basements meant for parking rented out to businesses, vehicles are parked outside the buildings and oftentimes, on the roadsides, causing traffic jams in the city.
When shop owners in the New Road area on Wednesday sought compensation for the demolished structures, Shah, who led the drive, asked them to make such demands with the building owners who allowed them to set up shops illegally.
“If building owners rent out spaces by constructing illegal structures, they should be the ones who pay the compensation,” said Shah.
Last month, the City authorities cleared the footpaths at New Baneshwar amid protests from street vendors. City authorities had then faced criticism for allowing motorcycle parking on the footpaths after removing street vendors.
Earlier, during the tenure of former mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya in April 2019, the city authorities had demolished 52 illegal structures in Khula Manch built by Jaleshwor Swachhanda Bkoi Builders after protest from locals, conservationists and civil society leaders.
The City has sent a letter to the Kathmandu District Court seeking its building’s site plan clearance document. The City has claimed that the district court has not presented a blueprint of the building in Babarmahal to its office.
Suraj Shakya, chief of the Building Construction Department of the KMC, has told Kantipur, the Post’s sister paper, that his office has not got the site plan of the Kathmandu District Court building.
“So far, we have not received the site plan of the district court, that is why we have sent a letter,” said Shakya, adding the City will be taking legal action against the court if it does not produce the site plan.
The district court has also encroached on the pavement in front of its building for the past two years. A bus and a truck that were impounded on charge of carrying contraband and goods evading taxes remain parked on the pavement creating inconveniences for pedestrians.
Despite criticisms from various quarters, including the locals, visually-impaired pedestrians, ward office and traffic police, the court has not removed those vehicles.