Friday, 16 April, 2021

Campaign to free Tundikhel of present mess


By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov. 9:The Kathmandu Metropolitan City, which is growing fast into a populated urban settlement, is choking for breath in absence of manageable public parks, open spaces and green hubs.
People hardly find peace and tranquillity in the absent of open green spaces here. The limited open spaces have been illegally occupied by builders, vendors and others.
When visitors enter the Open Theatre premises, they feel sad and depressed after seeing unmanageable parking and structures and the heaps of construction materials.
The leading heritage conservation campaigners will launch Occupy Tundikhel campaign on Saturday to free the Tundikhel from the current mess.
They said they would gather at Open Stadium to form a human chain in a bid to exert pressure on the authority to free the Tundikhel from illegal structures and materials.
Members of the House Representatives, chair of Ward No 28, several organisations, media persons and hundred others are taking part in the campaign by forming a human chain.
The participants will join the symbolic human chain that will encircle the entire Tundikhel ground.
Some 3,000 people are expected to join the human chain, as a part of a three-month campaign to free the Tundikhel from encroachment of all kinds.
The campaign will continue every Saturday for three months to reflect the importance of open Tundikhel by organising several programmes and activities, said Bijaya Shrestha coordinator of Occupy Tundikhel Campaign.
Tundikhel, located the central part of the Kathmandu city, has a long history of political changes. The ground once was recognised as a big parade ground of Asia.
It is a source of clean air for the denizens and the source of ground water recharge centre of Kathmandu. It is also full of tangible and intangible heritages such as Mahankal Temple, Duimaju, and Guru Mapa.
There is an open stadium, the witness of historical political changes, which turned into a shelter centre for hundreds of earthquake victims during the Gorkha Earthquake-2015.
Now, the big open ground of Tundikhel has been encroached in the name of temporary old Bus Park, illegal shops, unmanaged parking, storage site for the building construction materials and living place for the labourer working at Durbar High School and Dharahara.
The new generation will not be able to use this historical ground if the present structures are not removed from the place and make it open ground as in the past, he said.
Now, Tundikhel is waiting to get its original look and identity. The three-month campaign is beginning by forming a human chain. The campaign will be organised in three phases- current, short-term and long term, coordinator Shrestha said.
Garbage could be removed from the site and parking system could be managed under the current programme.
Under the short-term campaign, the structures built to house the workers and construction materials will be removed from the site and it will be turned into an open ground.
Likewise, under the long-term programme, “Our plan is to remove army parade ground from Tundikhel to bring it into original shape,” he said.
The Occupy Tundikhel campaign will be successful after it gets ground with lush original greenery, he said.