As the nation grapples with the crises brought about by COVID-19, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has decided to ban volunteer groups, individuals, and clubs from distributing free food to those in need at Khulamanch.

Though KMC has yet to issue any formal notice regarding the ban, it has been reported that Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya directed the metropolis police to stop the ongoing distribution of free food stating that distribution of free food by random people or organizations had put the local government in a bad light.

100s Group, a group of youth volunteers gathered through Facebook, has been providing one meal a day for free to people who can’t afford to buy food due to the pandemic.

The group has been serving around 700 people each day ever since the government suddenly imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24.

The city police have sprung into action after KMC sent a letter to the former two days ago asking them to stop distribution of free food in Khulamanch.

According to DSP Dhanapati Sapkota, head of the metropolis police, the order they received from KMC had asked the police to stop distribution of free food as the metropolis is unsure about the quality of food being served.

While Mayor Shakya has yet to materialize his promise of building a 5,000-bed integrated isolation center in the city, he decided that the best course of action at this point in time would be to deprive the underprivileged of the free meals they were being provided by helping hands.

Meanwhile, KMC Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi said she was not consulted before her office reached the decision to impose such ban. She said that though it was the government’s responsibility to feed its hungry citizens, and despite generous youths volunteering to take charge, the government had decided to ban such activities.