Civil society, road expansion victims protest in front of Kathmandu Metropolitan City officeOn Saturday, city authorities had started works to expand the Balaju Bypass road in Kathmandu in defiance of a Supreme Court order.
Civil society members under the banner of Brihat Nagarik Andolan and the Valley-wide Road Expansion Victims’ Struggle Committee on Sunday picketed the office of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City on Sunday to protest the demolition of houses during the expansion of the Balaju Bypass road and construction of concrete structures in Kamal Pokhari.
On Saturday, city authorities defied the Supreme Court order and started expansion works on the Balaju Bypass road in Kathmandu.
For many years, the local residents have been protesting against the government decision to expand the Balaju Bypass road.
On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the Kathmandu Metropolitan City not to start the road expansion work until the issue is resolved through discussion, as many houses would have to be demolished for the project.
Last Wednesday, when the Kathmandu Metropolitan City installed bamboo and corrugated zinc sheet fences to set up an information centre, a protest erupted. The fence was later destroyed by the protesters and members of the Valley-wide Road Expansion Victims Struggle Committee. Police arrested eight people in connection with the incident.
The protesters on Sunday demanded rehabilitation of the people displaced by the road expansion in Balaju bypass area in the same place.
On Friday too, the broad citizens’ movement had led a protest rally demanding rehabilitation of all those who have been victims of the government’s road-widening projects.
The protesters, including heritage lovers and conservationists, had also rallied at Kamal Pokhari the same day and smashed a concrete structure built in the middle of the pond with rocks and sledgehammers.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been facing intense criticism for its handling of the Kamal Pokhari restoration and beautification project.
Here are some photos of the picketing of Kathmandu Metropolitan City office by the Post photojournalist Sanjog Manandhar.