Kathmandu–Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya has said running the Occupy Tundikhel Campaign is meaningless. He said the beauty of the place has reduced to some extent presently as some reconstruction works of buildings around Tundikhel were ongoing, expressing the belief that the open ground will regain its old form once the construction works were completed.
Talking to the National News Agency, RSS, Mayor Shakya said, "That Tundikhel should be open is also our interest. So, running the Occupy Tundikhel Campaign is not at all necessary. All these problems would be addressed in the next three months. It is the KMC's responsibility alone to open the Tundikhel by keeping alive the religious, cultural and historical significance of this open ground."
The KMC expressed its view as the heritage conservation campaigners continue to organize various programmes to exert pressure for expanding and protecting the Tundikhel from encroachment by running the Occupy Tundikhel Campaign since three weeks. Mayor Shakya said he would make all possible efforts from his side to bring the Tundikhel to its former form, noting that this ancient heritage of Kathmandu has been a witness to every political change in the country.
"The construction materials have been piled up in Tundikhel in course of reconstructing the Durbar High School and the Dharahara and construction of the buildings of Bir Hospital. Construction of these structures is completing. The Khula Manch (open air theatre) would be vacated once these structures are completed," he said.
Heritage protection activist Alok Tuladhar however called for removing the encroachment upon Khula Manch whether in the name of reconstruction or any other pretext should be removed forthwith.
The heritage conservation campaigners are of the view that Mayor Shakya himself shoul lead the programmes of public pressure for keeping the Tundikhel clean, clear and open.
At present, some part of Tundikhel is used as bus park while the construction materials required for the reconstruction of Dharahara and Durbar High School are also piled up in Tundikhel. The problem has also been compounded as the bus park has been operated more than two years for which it had been shifted to Khula Manch.
"The KMC is on a campaign of making the metropolis free from dust and smoke and making it green. We also carried out general repair at Tundikhel in course of cleaning the road itself during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Nepal so as to prevent the dust originating there from going out," he said.