LETTERS: Illegal skiing in the Himalayas

Apropos of the news story “NASA researchers ski on Mt Everest illegally!” (THT, May 7, Page 1), it seems the erring duo may get away with a light punishment such as being barred from entering Nepal for five years or mountaineering for 10 years. To make a point, what would have NASA done if a Nepali researcher or a scientist had walked through their headquarters illegally?

I leave it up to the readers to arrive at their own imaginary conclusions. And, can travel organisers claim ignorance of their clients’ activities? In neighbouring India, Salman Khan’s travel agent in Rajasthan where he poached a blackbuck nearly 20 years ago was also charge-sheeted, resulting in his hiding from law for all these years.

Comparatively travel organisers in Nepal can get away by claiming ignorance of their clients’ activities.

Salman’s travel agent could not have known that his client was going to kill a beast, as most Indian tourists call wildlife. But that ignorance did not exonerate his travel agent.

Further, the illegal (?) skiing could also raise a finger on the dereliction of duty on the part of the liaison officer, if there was one accompanying the researchers. If one was present as required by law, was s/he watching them skiing from Everest Camp III to camp II in awe or was s/he loitering around in her/his village? It is also highly likely that someone must have told the illegal skiers that they can ski anywhere in Nepal without any permission. An inquiry committee that will be set up would and should find out the truth.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Amend the Act

It has been reported that federal Parliament is all set to make amendment to the Telecommunications Act, 1997.

The amendment to the Act will give much respite to the telecom sector which has been facing several hurdles due to the absence of timely amendment to the Act. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is one of the ever-changing sectors which needs to be addressed by amending the existing law.

And, Telecommunication Act, 1997 is too old to address the current challenges that have cropped up due to fast development in the ICT sector. The government has been facing hurdles in introducing new telecom company; turning telecos to public, regulating multiple investment in telecom companies and imposing stricter penalties for their wrongdoings due to lack of suitable provisions in the existing Act.

Similarly, auction of frequency is affected hitting hard the expansion of 4G service for the existing companies which have coverage to the length and breadth of the country. The government must include all technologicalaspects in the Act to address the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The amendment must be made in a manner that all the private companies and the state-owned Nepal Telecom will enjoy level playing field.

Safal Thapa, Naxal