Get it moving

Quick succession may be the expression used when referring to the fatalities that have beleaguered the media persons, if only the past one month’s graph is taken for perusal. Within a short span of a month, two prominent media entrepreneurs have died, while dire threats have piled upon journalists affiliated to various media houses. Such a state of lawlessness where the common man’s life hangs by a slender string cannot in any way speak well of the government and its law enforcement agencies. These have merely been two tragic events concerning those associated with the media, but the daily grind of violent deaths that stalk the ordinary citizen is everyday news. That speaks volumes of how the people have been passing their days in utter uncertainty all because of the lackadaisical functioning style of the government that has the unqualified duty to take recourses to all the resources in its jurisdiction to see to it that law and order is maintained. However, despite the support of the majority of the political parties represented in the parliament, the government has presented a rather toothless appearance. There have been no more than mere assurances that the security would be beefed up. The same has been so oft repeated that the people seem to have become cynical to such sweet vocalization. Of course, there resides on the government’s shoulders more onerous responsibilities related to the statute drafting task and the peace process, yet it also has to come down heavily on anti-social elements who have no qualms about committing even the heinous forms of crime like murders. It is a moot question as to what can be expected now from the administration.

In this question, the overwhelming wave of protests by journalists demanding greater security and the arrest of the assailants in the two high-profile murders have awakened the Home Minister to suggest a review of the Special Security Plan (SSP) that was implement some six months back with much promises to bring lawlessness to “ground zero”. However, the records show that there has been no let down in criminal offences despite the SSP implementation. These have all happened even when the police force is trained for the purpose, and have cracked hard nuts in the past. The only thing that saps the morale of the police force is often popularly referred to as political interference. Instead of becoming stooges, the police more often tend to become passive, thereby, undermining the very purpose that they are for. The government’s helplessness has time and again been reflected through its acts that have promoted impunity with the police left behind to lick their wounds.

It all brings us to the crux of the matter as to what a review of the security plan will bring about. Is it again going to be another gimmick, or there are strands that can spruce up the law enforcement agencies to discharge their duties without in any way being swayed by political forces. This matters a lot if the Home Minister is going to prove to the people that he means business. This is an area where rhetoric cannot work, it has to be plain and dry. Words do not mean much without action to back it up.

Only figures

There can be no doubt that Nepal is endowed with immense hydropower potential. Somehow the word went around that our country had the potential to generate 83,000 megawatts of hydropower out of which it was economically and technically viable to exploit 42,000 megawatts. It was out of no research, no study. Now, however, studies have found that the country has a hydropower potential of 53,000 megawatts. The earlier figure was arrived during the sixties, which was not very much more than a conjecture. This latest figure is considered to be more reliable as the number of stations providing the data has increased and advanced methodology has been used. In any case, only 0.7 per cent of the viable hydropower of the previous estimate has been tapped.

It has been a ploy to generate popularity among the power hungry people. Even the Maoists made tall talks of generating 10,000 megawatt of hydropower within a span of ten years. What more, construction on various approved hydel projects have been disrupted. As things stand now, the people will continue to have to bear with prolonged power outages in this country, and the figures quoted for the potential will only be meant for references.