Demolish high walls
This is with reference to the news story “Illegally built boundary walls to be removed” (THT, June 14, Page 2). First of all, the government and its agencies should stop moving the goal posts depending on situations and their convenience. After closing eyes for 25 years since the first Jana Andolan when tall walls started gracing this valley, they cannot use quake to stand on moral high ground to declare high walls illegal. If these walls were illegal, they would not be standing stiff for the last quarter century. That said, the quake has now proved beyond doubt that high walls are death traps that need to be cut in height for public safety. So they should issue public notice through all mass media for the owners to take corrective action within two weeks. If the owners fail to heed the request, then they can move in and do it themselves.
If you ask me, walls should not be higher than three feet without grills or railings. The government has to come up with various rules and regulations against trespassing and stalking to ensure that bandits do not force ‘illegal’ entry or stand and stare from the other side of the wall planning heist. However, reducing the height is not the final solution for the safety of the pedestrians, motorists and the neighbours from the crumbling walls. There are many roads in the Kathmandu Valley without walls and footpath but with tall houses. What about tall houses and hotels in narrow lanes and markets where tall houses stand guard on both sides of the lane? Aren’t these houses as dangerous as walls on the narrow lanes? They all seem like death traps to me. Also, people should be asked to remove avocado and other tall trees whose branches intrude upon the neighbours.
J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur
This is with reference to the news story “Minister-led panel formed for tourism revival” (THT, June 15, Page 1). This is a good first step. In addition, they absolutely need to employ an outside marketing organization to cast the story of “Come, visit Nepal” into terms that tourists from the different regions of the world can relate too. I have been looking into a trip to climb and trek in Tibet. I think other Westerners are thinking about climbing on the Tibet side after the Everest tragedies over the past two years. I have found that Tibet is poorly organized.
It is very difficult to obtain information and to work the details necessary to put together a trip. You never know whether Tibet will approve single or only groups permits. You also never know whether you can visit Lhasa. I am about to give up on the idea. There is a clear opportunity for Nepal to step up now with a positive campaign highlighting the areas that can be visited in Nepal, and why they should be visited and also for the Nepal government to support visiting climbers and trekkers.
Martin Coleman, Colorado, US