Kathmandu: Roads in Kathmandu, the federal capital, look almost deserted in the midst of the Dashain festival holiday. Traffic on the roads, which used to see heavy traffic on other days, is very sparse.
Although comparatively a good number of private vehicles can be seen operating, the public vehicles are less in number. It seems this has given respite to the capital from the heavy traffic of normal days.
There is festival atmosphere in Kathmandu now. People are immersed in festival rituals and in celebration mood. However, there are some people who are busy in some important work amidst the Dashain festival time.
These are the people who are working to clean and decorate the roads and streets of Kathmandu, to plant new plants and flowers, to prune the shrubs planted on the sides of the road. It seems they do not care about the Dashain holidays. Ram Chandra Basnet and his team are working to give a face lift to the Teenkune area situated in the heart of the capital.
They have planted Kalki, palm and arborvitae. Also planted are flowers of various species. The employees of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) are also putting in their best efforts in decorating and improving the roads in the federal capital.
Some of them are arranging the stone slabs while others can be seen planting saplings. “Plant that sapling properly and straight,” a worker who is arranging a lump of dubo grass was telling his friend. A tanker belonging to the metropolis halted right in front of them.
It had brought water for sprinkling on the newly planted stretch of grass and plants. “Be careful, be careful. Do not water the plants forcefully lest they tilt,” cautioned another worker when a fellow worker was watering the plants from a pipe.
“I feel that these plants are my children,” he said. Basnet and his team of eight people are busy to construct a garden at the open space at Teenkune. Basnet surmised that they will need 7,000 stubs of the dubo grass. The Nepal Army personnel are also helping them, besides the KMC staff and workers hired on daily wage basis.
“It is difficult to get workers during the festival time. But we have to complete our responsibility in the given time,” said another worker who was planting a sapling, without raising his head. Basnet said that he feels proud and happy to carry out works of beautifying the roads and various open spaces in Kathmandu on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit in the second week of this month.
The Teenkune area which looked like a ruin due to the dumping of waste and encroachment is getting a new life. Locals are of the view that the KMC should maintain this park which is getting facelift under its coordination now. All the people are working so that there is no any lapse in welcoming the Chinese dignitary who is visiting Nepal after about two decades.
Works like blacktopping the roads, repairing the traffic signs and installing new ones and planting trees on the road side is going on at a war-footing. These sorts of decoration works are being done from the Tribhuvan International Airport to the main city area of Kathmandu.
Works are underway for planting flower saplings and constructing fountains in New Road of Kathmandu. Sweeping of the roads and painting the curb is also going on. Workers are also busy painting the Maitighar Mandala with various colours.
The government has also started preparing for President Xi’s visit. The security bodies have been ordered to stay on high alert and the government employees have also been urged to be present when required.