Protests over road expansion project in Kathmandu

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Kathmandu, March 28 (IANS) Several protesters were detained and some were injured in Kathmandu on Wednesday as Nepali police used water cannon to disperse a demonstration against a planned road expansion project.

Hundreds of local residents, including members of the Newar community, one of the first groups to settle in Nepal centuries ago, clashed with riot police as they voiced their opposition to the construction project.

The project would see an expressway built between Kathmandu and the southern Terai region, Efe news reported.

The new road, which would replace a smaller route, would threaten various religious and Newar cultural heritage sites, as well as encroach on farmland, affecting the livelihoods of locals.

Efe news cited police sources as saying that five protesters were arrested and three were injured during the clashes.

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The Nepal Army, which is overseeing and administering the government project, assured residents that the new road would be “a win-win for all stakeholders”, an Army spokesperson had said in January.

The proposed Kathmandu-Terai expressway would reduce travel time from the Nepali capital city to the southern plains from five hours to just one hour.

–IANS

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