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28 places in quake-hit Kathmandu declared no-go zones

By Anil Giri
Kathmandu, May 23 (IANS)
With life limping back to normalcy and traffic resuming on the streets following the devastating April 25 earthquake and its aftermath, Nepal Police have declared several road stretches in the Kathmandu Valley no-go zones to prevent any untoward incidents, keeping in mind the vulnerability of roadside houses and other structures.

These include some important heritage sites, risk-bearing areas where cracked and damaged buildings pose a threat and places where cracked buildings were in the process of being demolished.

The police have barred plying of both light and heavy vehicles at 28 places in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts in the valley. This was expected to affect transportation besides causing difficulties to the people.

According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD), it has prohibited vehicular movement in places where houses and buildings have tilted — sideways or towards the front — after the massive earthquake of April 25 and subsequent aftershocks.

“Several houses or buildings along the roads are structurally unsafe and could cave in at any time amid constant aftershocks. It is wise to prohibit vehicular movement until structures on the verge of collapse are demolished. Letting vehicles ply on the road may heighten the risk of structural collapse,” a police statement said.

Traffic police have halted vehicular movement on the road leading to Hiraratna Cinema Hall from Kalopul Chowk. Similarly, Naxal Bhagwatibahal-Nagpokhari-Hattisar, Balaju bypass, Gongabu Chowk-Baniyatar, Mitranagar-Mhepi, Thamel-JP Mode, Soaltee Mode-Kalimati-Kalanki Chowk, Lagan-Teku-Paropakar, Tamsipakha-Bangemudha and Dallu-Bhagwanpau Road sections have been declared no-go zones in Kathmandu.

Purano Thimi-Bode in Bhaktapur and Pyagal-Lagankhel in Lalitpur have also been restricted for traffic.

An official said vehicles were diverted to alternative routes from the prohibited road sections to manage traffic flow.

“Traffic police personnel in collaboration with other security agencies have been actively engaged in reopening the disrupted roads,” he said.

However, vehicles entering and exiting the valley through various transit points are operating as usual.

According to the MTPD, post-earthquake mudslides and rockslides have blocked road sections in Tatopani of Sindhupalchok, Syafrubesi-Timure of Rasuwa and Lamabagar of Dolakha districts.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at [email protected])

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