Nepal | August 05, 2020

EDITORIAL: Criminal negligence

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Unless an effective system is set up without legal or administrative loopholes no amount of ministerial or official activity will yield desired results

Most of the problems that the country and its people suffer are mainly questions of ethics and accountability—two things that are in very short supply among our government leaders, politicians, and civil servants. Take the frequent vehicular accidents across the country and the pits and potholes that are common where people, animals and vehicles may fall, causing accidents, injuries and deaths. When these events happen in a way that attracts much public notice and criticism, those in authority resort to issuing directives to their subordinates and soon afterward all these are forgotten. These spurts of activity are short-lived, mainly to minimize public outrage. All this is an ad hoc way of functioning, not of building a system that works effectively whether ministers of any party may come to power, or any government servants may be deputed to provide services to the public.

This kind of ad hocism is manifested almost everywhere in our government work; for example, the recent directives by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to repair the roads of the Valley within two weeks, including filling of the pits and potholes. This happened after several accidents were caused by the pits, potholes, and manholes that had been and are still left open here and there across the valley. Two girls fell into the pits as they could not see them because the big holes were submerged in the torrential rain. Our ministers are seen to be giving instructions every other day for this work or that to be accomplished soon or for this service or that to be provided, or for this thing or that not to be done. This rampant ad hocism also means that the effects of ministerial activism most often turn out to be short-lived. Vehicular accidents are happening in such frequency and landslides are taking their toll in  many places and pits and potholes have become real hazards in so many places that we have lost count of them even considering just the mishaps of the past one month. Saturday’s heart-rending deaths of four girls of a family who fell into a rainwater-covered ditch at Garuda Municipality in Rautahat are just the most recent tragedy of such kind. On the same day, a jeep fell 500 metres below the road in Doti killing nine people.

The government offices and officials and the contractors concerned need to be severely punished for their criminal neglect of duty. But such action is hardly taken against them, which in turn makes them more negligent in the future, to repeat similar crimes. This cycle goes on, as it has for decades. Those in authority must under no circumstances be allowed to go scot-free despite perpetrating crimes, in the form of corruption, or in failing to do their basic duty, invariably when their action or non-action causes hardships or great inconvenience to service-seekers or the general public, or takes human lives or causes a loss to the country financially or otherwise. Unless an effective system is set up without legal or administrative loopholes so that those in positions of authority cannot escape in such circumstances, no amount of ministerial or official activity will yield desired results. It is up to the government and lawmakers to choose exactly what they want.

Monorail plan

A study has shown that monorail is possible in the Kathmandu Valley’s narrow and bending streets. A feasibility study jointly carried out by the National Planning Commission, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Investment Board Nepal came out with the possibility of operating monorail in the Valley which is one of the most polluted and dirtiest cities in Asia because of heavy concentration of vehicles which emit smoke. The report has said that the monorail can be built within eight to ten years’ period and it is much cheaper than sub-way metro trains which are not feasible in the Valley’s loose soil structure.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the KMC and Cimex Inc on July 18 for the feasibility study of monorail in a ten-km stretch from Tilganga to Kalanki. The study has revealed that the cost of the investment can be recovered in 10 to 12 years and it will be able to carry 15,000 to 30,000 passengers per hour. The monorail is highly useful for narrow streets and bending roads. Besides, the monorail will immensely contribute to reducing pollution, carbon emission, dust particles and maintain beauty of the city as open and left out spaces can be developed as green parks and recreation centres.


A version of this article appears in print on August 07, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

MoHP lists swab collection centres in Kathmandu; urges public to follow safety guidelines

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population on Tuesday announced 14 swab collection centres to facilitate extensive testing of coronavirus infection in Kathmandu valley at a time when new cases have been on the rise. MoHP has urged the public to visit the swab collection centres from 9:00 am Read More...

Gai Jatra: Festival that honours the memory of those departed

KATHMANDU: Gai Jatra, literally translated to the festival of cows, is observed by bereaved families by taking out procession in memory of the ones they have lost. People, especially children, walk in different costumes, and the processions are also accompanied by traditional bands. Gai Jatra is Read More...

Nepal’s COVID-19 count crosses the 21k mark, 259 new cases detected on Tuesday

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has recorded 259 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Tuesday, taking the nationwide count to 21,009. The new infections were confirmed after testing 7,687 specimens through PCR method across the nation in the last 24 hours. Among the new c Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 259 new cases, 65 recoveries, one fatality recorded today

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 406,494 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, w Read More...

Nepal logs one more COVID-19 fatality; death toll reaches 58

KATHMANDU: One more person has succumbed to the coronavirus infection, confirmed the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) at its regular media briefing, on Tuesday. A 77-year-old male from Biratnagar Metropolitan City-5, Morang, has died from the highly contagious disease on Monday. The pa Read More...

Reimpose lockdown, issue curfew order if necessary; strictly implement security protocol: Experts to PM Oli

KATHMANDU: At a meeting called to discuss government's further steps to contain the spread of Covid-19, experts suggested that the government should reimpose lockdown to ensure that the pandemic is checked. Some health experts even suggested Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who had convened the meeting Read More...

Bangladesh board denies not paying players ICC prize money

DHAKA: The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday dismissed allegations from a players' body that its international cricketers have not been paid all their prize money. The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) said in a report that the Bangladesh players have not bee Read More...

Prominent Muslims to grace Hindu temple ceremony on contested India site

LUCKNOW: In a gesture of reconciliation, two prominent Muslims who lived through deadly riots following the razing of a mosque in northern India in 1992 plan to attend the foundation-laying ceremony for a Hindu temple on Wednesday on the same site, they said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who Read More...