Thamel, Durbarmarg and Lakeside to remain open round the clock

Kathmandu: The tourist hub of Thamel and Durbar Marg of Kathmandu and the Lakeside area of Pokhara will see a thriving nightlife from now onwards.

The amusement centres, restaurants and shops that have met the government’s set criteria can operate their business 24 hours a day in these places, said the Ministry of Home Affairs today.

“The District Administration Office (DAO) of the two districts – Kathmandu and Kaski – will provide approval to those who wish to operate their shops and amusement centres all day and night,” said Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma.

Much had been said before about allowing businesses to operate 24 hours without closing at the major tourist centres of the nation. Today, the ministry decided to give consent to those who have met the government criteria.

The DAOs have made it mandatory for businesses to install close circuit cameras, with connection to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, a sound proof system, and manage internal security guards in their business facilities.

“Necessary security arrangements, private security guards, volunteers and technologies will be there to avert any unscrupulous activities,” said the Home Minister during an interaction with journalists.

Former president of Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC) Ram Sharan Thapaliya said that they were ready to take approval from the DAO and operate businesses in Thamel round the clock.

“Now the amusement centres, restaurants, shops can go to the DAO and seek approval to run their businesses in an organised way,” said Thapaliya.

The only problem we are facing today is the dissatisfaction expressed by some of the local residents of Thamel as they have also lodged complaints at the DAO not to give such approval to us, said Thapaliya.

Amusements centres should be well managed and ensure a soundproof system so that locals and outsiders are not disturbed, he said.

As per the existing international practice, opening tourist hubs like Thamel, Durbar Marg and Lakeside area of Pokhara would be logical as 80 per cent of the tourists visiting Nepal also visit Thamel and Durbar Marg as well as Lakeside, said Thapaliya.

Said Durbar Marg Development Board chairman Gopal Sundar Lal Kakshapati, “We are fully prepared to implement security measures at Durbar Marg. Around 20 CCTV cameras have been installed in the area stretching from the Narayanhiti Royal Palace to King Mahendra’s statue.”

For  Thamel and Durbar Marg, 35 security personnel will be deployed to maintain security and safety.

According to Kakshapati, the Durbar Marg area has already been equipped with solar-powered lights as part of the Kathmandu Ujyalo Karyakram ,implemented jointly by the Board and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).

The Durbar Marg area boasts over 200 businesses, including two five-star hotels–Hotel Annapurna and Hotel Yak and Yeti – retail stores, restaurants, bars and pubs, jewellery shops, fashion stores and night clubs.