LETTERS

Fuel price increase

Professor Bishwambher Pyakuryal’s edit page article “Oil politics” (THT, Oct. 31) raises some important issues. One, a completely “private product” like petroleum is being treated as a “public product” by vested interest groups closely allied with various political parties. Second, the inefficiencies in public enterprises like NOC are leading to huge losses even after the price hike, leaving the poor to bear the burden.

Is it justifiable to subsidise a private commodity in a country where the majority of the population still live below the poverty line and are deprived even of basic education and healthcare facilities? While macro-level economic analysis may be a complex process, the need to reform NOC is understood even by a layman. There is no better way to do it than through public-private partnership. However, as a word of caution, partnership is not a panacea but only a means to achieve ends.

Siddha Raj Pant, Private public partnership

programme, Tara

Management Private Ltd., Pulchowk, Lalitpur

Mea culpa

Maoist leader Ananta’s mea culpa that it was indeed the Maoists who had abducted journalist Birendra Sah was a disgraceful admission. But the same leader also added that Sah was abducted for “personal enmity” at the local level. It will not be long before this argument falls through as well and it is known that there were other motives.

Santanu Pokharel,

via e-mail

Go electric

It is surprising that the media has not given much attention to highlighting the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, the use of which would go a long way towards curbing pollution. The non-polluting vehicles would be beneficial not only in terms of minimising health risks posed by increasing pollution but also minimising Nepal’s heavy reliance on petro-products. Encouraging the use of ‘clean’ vehicles in the capital would pay rich dividends.

J Shrestha, via e-mail

Earthquakes

This refers to the news report “Valley prone to major earthquake, says expert” (THT, Oct 31). Though earthquakes are not new to Nepal, the government seems to have taken no action to prevent the huge loss of lives and property that could result from earthquakes. The

media should play an important role in informing the public of the risks posed by the construction of buildings without appropriate safety guidelines. It should also inform people about the steps to be taken in the event of an earthquake.

Shiva Neupane,

Melbourne, Australia

Correction

This refers to your news report “Arniko Highway bandh ends, traffic resumes” (THT, Oct. 31). It has been reported in the news that traffic resumed after an agreement between the bandh organisers and the local administration. It has also been reported that the concerned authority has agreed to remove the army fence placed at Nalinchowk,Bhaktapur. However, the agreement was to request the concerned authorities to remove the same. These two sentences do not convey the same meaning.

Kabiraj Khanal, CDO, Kavrepalanchowk