The Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Balendra Shah, has expressed his frustration after receiving a directive from the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction under the Ministry of Urban Development, instructing him to cease free parking services on the Dharahara premises. The directive cited incomplete construction as the reason behind the order.
Mayor Shah, visibly displeased, took to social media to voice his concerns. He asserted that the letter should have been addressed to former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who inaugurated the iconic Dharahara two years, nine months, and 20 days ago. Shah recalled the historic moment, highlighting that the then mayor of Kathmandu, Bidya Sundar Shakya, had declared the completion of a significant project.
In a Facebook post, Mayor Shah stated, “If it was in the Rana period, it would have been called KP Oli Tower.” He criticized the government’s recent stance on Dharahara’s parking, emphasizing the contradiction between the past celebration of the tower’s completion and the current directive to halt parking due to ongoing construction.
Furthermore, Mayor Shah called for a national policy that discourages inaugurating infrastructures hastily before their completion, labeling it as a new form of corruption. He urged federal and provincial governments to address this issue, emphasizing the need to avoid making decisions that directly impact the lives of common citizens and disrupt city management.
Despite the government’s directive, Mayor Shah clarified that parking at Dharahara is not closed and is being operated free of charge through the initiative of the metropolis. He expressed determination to continue managing the parking facility, cautioning against private interests attempting to exploit public property for profit.
The KMC had previously announced free parking services on the Dharahara premises from January 28, designating the blacktopped roads in New Road as a parking-prohibited zone. The available parking space covers an area of 50,000 square feet, accessible from the road leading to Khichapokhari from Kathmandu Mall. Mayor Shah remains steadfast in his commitment to preserving public property for the benefit of the general population within the Kathmandu metropolis.