Walk Tall!

Kathmandu: Paved sidewalks in central areas to enhance walking


The government has stepped up efforts to improve roads around the historical sites and tourist routes in the Kathmandu. 
In order to promote a walking culture and also enhance the aesthetic beauty of the commercial and historical sites in the inner areas of Kathmandu, the government has decided to develop stone-paved sidewalks and convert several streets into pedestrian walkways. 

As part of the Kathmandu Sustainability Urban Transportation Project (KSUTP), the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is all set to develop a 7.5 kilometers stone-paved foot path on either side of the road in the inner areas with the support of the Asian Development Bank. 

The KMC has decided to develop 3-6 meter wide sidewalks along the road stretches in Kantipath, Tripureshwor, Thapathali, Putalisadak, Sahid Gate and Durbar Marg. 

Unlike the concrete blocks pavement developed in many parts of the city, the sidewalks will be covered with interlocking paving stones in line with the practice in developed countries, informed Utter Regmi, chief of the KSUTP implementation unit at KMC. 

He maintained that as the stones are sturdy and available in different designs and colors, the sidewalks would not only be durable but also colorful. He hopes that the sidewalks will ensure comfortable movements for passersby. 

The KMC is also planning to make the sidewalks disabled-friendly. For the purpose, the KMC has decided to construct ramps so that people with disabilities can easily gain access to footpath and walk comfortably. 

Likewise, the sidewalks will have several benches and trees on either side to promote greenery in the city area, said Regmi. 

The KMC aims to complete the construction of the sidewalks within the next two years. Regmi informed that the Asian Development Bank has provided a grant assistance of around Rs 400 million for the project. 

Likewise, the KMC is also preparing to convert around 8 kilometer road stretches inside Thamel and Jamal areas into complete pedestrian walkways. 
“We are turning roads into walkways to make higher use of pedestrians and cyclist movement in the areas,” said Regmi. 

In the first phase, the interlocking paving stones would be laid along various road stretches like Watumarga, Chhetrapati, Asho, Yogbir Singh Marga, Siddhidas Marga, Chittadhar Marga, Swachhpau Marga and JP Marga, according to Regmi. 

The KMC plans to ban mobility of vehicles in some tourist and historically sensitive areas to reduce noise as well as air pollution, said Regmi. 

“Our plan is to make the areas environment as well as tourist-friendly. After the pavements are constructed, no vehicles would be allowed in the areas, except for a certain time interval,” he said, adding, the move will also help to decrease traffic congestion in the areas. 

Meanwhile, the KMC is also studying possibility of creating parking zones in and around Thamel and Jamal.


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