Ncell has ensured the maintenance of the green belt with 90 full-time workers since it launched the project in July, and it will have more than 6,000 trees by the time it is completed in the next four years. The trees will more than compensate for the rows of jacaranda that were cut along Ekantakuna-Satdobato for the expansion of the ring Road.
“This greening initiative will contribute to a healthy environment for the community as a whole and support Ncell’s climate action goals,” said Ncell CEO Andy Chong. “This is an excellent example of public-private partnership and how we can collectively realise projects like these.”
Ncell hopes that other corporate groups as well as communities in Kathmandu will replicate its PPP model to work with local municipalities to green the city.
The construction of the 8-lane Ring Road with support from the Chinese government had led to the felling of many trees. Ncell’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative aims to not just make up for that loss, but plant even more trees.
Read Also: Kathmandu loses its open spaces, Tom Robertson and Nilima Thapa Shrestha
The much-delayed widening of the Kalanki-Bansbari section of the Ring Road will also need to make up for the loss of the poplar trees that had been cut, and the Ncell example could be replicated there.
What projects like the Ncell ring road can do is create foundations for businesses to take up social causes. Such investments can also help companies transition from fossil fuels and other nonrenewable energies to beneficial renewable ones.
Earlier, Ncell had planted 50,000 trees in 33 hectares of degraded land in Dhanusha, following which the government declared the protected area an ‘Illicit Felling and Open Grazing Free Zone’.
There are already signs that the Ncell initiative is having a ripple effect in other parts of Kathmandu. Banks and other companies have been pitching in to green traffic islands and sidewalks to augment the efforts of municipalities.