Nepal | August 15, 2020

Independence Day 2020

EDITORIAL: Work delayed

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

Coordination among all agencies are vital is to complete projects on time. But this coordination in Nepal has always been elusive

The long delays in road expansion in the Kathmandu Valley have been an often-cited case of the government’s non-performance, past or present.

Tons of paper have been wasted on calling for prompt reconstruction of the roads dug up and left in a messy state, causing problems of accidents and health hazards, as well as daily inconvenience to the people, whether on foot or on wheels.

This kind of mess has been left not just on the Boudha-Jorpati section but also on a number of other sections. Some stretches of roads that have been reconstructed had also been left in a messy state; potholes, uneven spots and other damaged parts are everywhere.

To take the case of the Boudha-Jorpati stretch, many orthopedic patients go to the well-known orthopedic hospital based at Narayantar for treatment, and what the uneven jolting road section means for them needs no explanation, let alone the daily inconveniences caused to the rest of the people using that road section.

According to hospital officials, an ambulance that would take ten minutes or so to reach a patient from Chabahil to the hospital may now take even two hours because of the bad state of that stretch.

One of the blunders committed by the authorities was to open up the roads, making them impassable for vehicles, without reconstructing the dug-up sections on time.

The roads were dug up for various purposes, particularly for widening them, laying pipes for Melamchi drinking water, and laying new pipes for sewerage.

In the road expansion work, the government has not been able to take the locals into confidence in some places or to act resolutely, thus also contributing to work delays because of obstructions from them.

The tendency of property owners on the sides of the roads would naturally be to protect their property, and they would want the road projects to go on without taking away any of their land.

The bad state of the roads also means traffic jams and pollution, apart from its other evils, from which the denizens of the Kathmandu Valley have been suffering for the past three years or so, at some stretches less and at others more.

Work stoppages due to festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath have also added to the delays and one or another hitch that comes up has also made matters worse.

Meanwhile, regarding the Boudha-Jorpati and in other sections, the Department of Roads has announced that preparations are being made to relocate the electricity and telephone poles along the roadsides.

Obviously several agencies are involved in the task. Coordination between them is vital if the work is to proceed smoothly and to be completed on time.

But this coordination in Nepal has always been elusive, not only in the road expansion projects but in many other projects and programs, thereby causing excessive delays and cost overruns.

The Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project has started expansion of the 53 km of the road segments.

The parliamentary Development Committee recently directed the government to expand and upgrade several road sections in the valley by the end of the current fiscal year. But that does not seem likely to be realized.

Passing the buck has also been a pastime of those in authority.

Cardamom farming

The fall in the price of cardamom has the farmers all worried. At one time this was grown mostly in the eastern region but now it is being cultivated throughout the country.

The scale of transaction of cardamom is Rs. 10 billion annually which is a hefty amount. This was one of the major exports.

Cardamom which was produced was sold last year for a substantial amount, as much as Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 83,000 per man (around 36 kilogrames) fetch the farmers only Rs. 56,000 to Rs. 60,000 this year.

It appears the market for this commodity has declined in India. Cardamom is divided into three categories and then priced accordingly.

Because of this debacle farmers are beginning to wonder if they should be cultivating this cash crop or something else to gain more profit.

It seems that it is not wise to depend on a single market for exports. Many farmers particularly in the eastern region have started commercial farming and had made a handsome profit in the past.

As the livelihood of many farmers depend on this cash crop it would be fitting to find more markets in other countries besides India.



A version of this article appears in print on November 10, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Leipzig stun Atletico to reach Champions League last four

LISBON: RB Leipzig stunned Atletico Madrid, with a 2-1 victory in their Champions League quarter-final on Thursday, to reach the competition's last four for the first time in their club's short history. With two minutes of normal time remaining, United States midfielder Tyler Adams snatched Read More...

Govt urged to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad

Kathmandu, August 13 The National Human Rights Commission has recommended that the Government of Nepal rescue Nepalis stranded in foreign countries on the basis of their financial condition and risk analysis. ‘Report on Human Rights Situation of Nepali Migrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pan Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico, with over 500,000 coronavirus cases, to help with vaccine

MEXICO CITY: Mexico, having hit over half a million official coronavirus cases and 55,000 deaths as the pandemic rages across Latin America, will help produce a vaccine that could be distributed in the region next year, authorities said on Thursday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has s Read More...

The office of the prime minister and council of ministers, OPMCM

Compensation announced for victims’ families in Soti incident

Kathmandu, August 13 The government has decided to provide Rs 1 million each to the families of victims in the Soti incident. Meeting of the Council of Ministers decided to provide monetary relief to the families of the victims of the incident that occurred on May 23 at Soti, Chaurjahari-8, in Read More...

Peru, coronavirus

Peru surpasses 500,000 coronavirus cases, marks highest fatality rate in LatAm

LIMA: Peru surpassed half a million coronavirus cases and has the highest fatality rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data on Thursday, as the government struggles to contain a recent surge of infections. There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice Read More...

Jobs of nearly 50,000 workers associated with party venues, catering services at risk

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 13 The monthly salary of Rs 15,000 was barely enough for Keshav Kunwar, a resident of Bhaktapur, to make ends meet. But when the government announced a nationwide lockown in March to control the spread of coronavirus, the party palace he was working for also shuttered, thereby c Read More...

No religious fair at Gokarneshwor temple

Kathmandu, August 13 A religious fair that takes place each year at Gokarneshwor Mahadev Temple, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on the new-moon-day in the month of Bhadra of the lunar calendar has been cancelled this year due to the COVID crisis. This year the event falls on August 19. On this Read More...

Govt directed to submit report on management of old vehicles

Kathmandu, August 13 The Supreme Court has issued an order to the Government of Nepal, directing it to submit a report, with proposal and action plan, on the management of dysfunctional vehicles and materials dumped on the premises of government offices. In response to a writ petition filed by Read More...