This refers to the report “Overbooking leaves passengers stranded” (THT, Oct. 20). The news item should have been scanned under the lens of veracity/ground reality before its approval for publication.
Overbooking, a globally accepted practice, is meant to utilise the highly perishable product of airlines optimally. However, passengers who need to fly in an emergency can be accommodated against any last moment dropout — cancellation at the airport.
Only 11 passengers were stranded instead of the two dozen mentioned erroneously in the report. They were offered the best possible ways of reaching their destination — on Indian Airlines (IA) flight, through other airlines, or by any other means. Besides, the passenger whose wife was indisposed at Kolkata was put on another airline’s flight the same day.
On top of that, the out-of-context mention of the presence of IA’s country manager at the airport during the arrival of the Indian ambassador to Nepal without bothering to be with the passengers at the airport is ridiculously fictitious. Though protocol demanded his presence, he could not be present on that day because he was busy at the city booking office extending all possible relief, making alternative plans for the stranded passengers, as well as meeting the rush of passengers during the festive season. It is obvious that timely remedial action is more important than ‘consoling’ the stranded passengers. In any case, there were the IA people at the airport who addressed the passengers’ inconvenience in time.
Gautam Shah, Country manager, IA Nepal
May I respectfully suggest as a New Zealander working in Kathmandu that the time has come for some constructive planning to ease the traffic chaos in the city? You should publish articles by Nepali specialists on the ways to regulate traffic in Kathmandu in order to build pressure on the authorities.
For example, taxis should not be allowed to stop anywhere they like, and this should apply to the minibuses too. When the taxis are not hired, they should not be allowed to cruise along the road. As in any busy city around the world, there needs to be specified places where they can stop. With the ever-increasing number of vehicles, it is about time this problem was addressed.
Dr Anthony Callow, via e-mail
The failure of the ongoing peace talks cannot be ruled out if the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists continue to differ over arms management. The talks so far have been futile as both the sides continue to flout the spirit of the Jana Andolan II. This state of anarchy will continue as long as the Maoists do not renounce violence, especially in rural areas. Even after the ceasefire, people are being forced to live under the shadow of terror. The Maoists cannot
expect people to have a soft corner for them if they don’t stop violence, particularly in the rural areas. Friendly countries can also play a constructive role in the restoration of peace in Nepal. But they should stand firm on democracy and other internationally recognised values instead of promoting vested interests.
Kedarnath Basnet, Janakpur