It seems that the age-old adage that misfortune doesn’t come alone is once again being applicable to the Kathmandu valley inhabitants. As if scarcity of potable water supply, massive load shedding, galloping price of everything imaginable, and so on was not enough, the grim prediction has once again been reiterated that the valley floors may collapse soon because of the over-exploitation of ground water reserves. There may be an undercurrent of truth in this because the rain god has been rather stingy for some months. The few drops that have come along in the recent past can’t match the huge appetite of the metropolis dwellers.
That is a very frightening forecast all because it has been made by an expert and not a soothsayer. And, the very thought of the ground that we are standing on sinking is too great a nightmare to imagine. Yet, geography and physics can give some insight for the uninitiated. The nature’s ways are mysterious. When there is a network of underground canals that give respite during the dry season, there can be no doubt that the sinking water level therein can make the earth above cave in. The human beings are at the mercy of nature. Too much rain and havoc sets in. Drought too gives the jitters. Both ways, the scales tip.