Going, going...

Dwindling forests have become a pressing concern for Nepalis. Already, thousands of hectares of forestland in Tarai have been converted into human settlements and agricultural land. According to the Department of Forests, landless people have encroached upon

approximately 98,000 hectares of the wild in the last couple of months alone. The great irony is that there are many ‘landless people’ who sell their own land to grab a bit of green turf.

Local politicians have been notorious for encouraging them to encroach upon the forestland. The problem of landless must be tackled by engaging the landless in income-generating


Unabated deforestation is likely to invite ecological disasters: Increasing cases of floods and landslides are some of the consequences of deforestation. Climate change and global warming may not be our immediate concerns but increasing desertification of fertile land due to flash floods and damage caused by soil erosion and landslides definitely are. Moreover, smuggling of timber and poaching of endangered animals have to be checked. Economic gain at the cost of ecological degradation is unacceptable. The new government under the leadership of the CPN-Maoist must make some hard decisions to protect our disapearing forests.

Baban P Kayastha, Gongabu, Kathmandu

Hot air

Though almost all political leaders advocate equal representation of women in all organs of the state, the absence of women during Prime Minister’s oath-taking ceremony was conspicuous. The entire nation seemed to be celebrating the occasion of the son of ordinary

farmers assuming executive power in republican Nepal, but none seemed bothered about the daughters who have been subjected to abuse and exploitation for ages. It makes me wonder if the agenda of inclusion is a mere rhetoric.

Namita Singh, via e-mail


The bursting of spurs of the Saptakoshi embankment has rendered thousands of Nepalis homeless and led to the loss of property worth millions. Though the newly elected Prime Minister Prachanda visited the flood-hit areas, “PM flooded with heart-rending pleas” (THT, August 21), I wonder what he can do to improve the plight of those who now depend on government for food and shelter.

What made the political leaders overlook and underestimate the impact of the disaster? Were they too busy jostling for ministerial portfolios? The government cannot neglect its responsibility. If need be, it must seek foreign help in relief operations. Most important, the government needs to rebuild the dam to ward off such disasters.

Subash Bhattarai, Kathmandu

Chaotic roads

Regular traffic jams during the office hours force residents of Kathmandu to spend many of their otherwise productive hours on the streets. Poor traffic management in the capital has also been the major cause of accidents. Traffic authorities should take the matter seriously and take appropriate measures to manage the city’s chaotic traffic. To begin with,

functioning traffic lights and strict traffic cops would be a huge relief to city denizens.

Subin Paudel, via e-mail