LETTERS: Jinxed Melamchi
Apropos of the news story “Melamchi struggling to meet deadline” (THT, December 12, Page 2), commenced in 2000 AD, the jinxed national pride project miraculously survived a dozen governments and three deadlines without any indication yet that the water will flow to Kathmandu before the end of the fourth deadline.
Considering the last hurdle posed by weak rocks that the detailed study somehow failed to envision and detect in the beginning, the promised deadline of 26 March 2018 will also expire quietly.
We can safely announce that this is a foregone conclusion. As someone with much interest in Nepal’s social and development activities, I picked up a tete-a-tete over a few bottles of fine wine with an envoy of a European nation and a top Nepali elite at a now five-star hotel in the lovely lake valley to the detriment of my budget. This was in the winter of 1999.
To the amusement of both the national and international gentlemen, I added my two bits with visible temerity. The Nepali gentlemen even exclaimed with a laugh ‘Your Excellency, he’s got a point there’. What I suggested was simple: take Kathmandu to Melamchi, instead. I reasoned that the 400 million dollars which was thought of initially as the cost for bringing Melamchi to Kathmandu would have sufficed to build a top quality planned urban township with apartment towers for a few million people in the surrounding areas including Panchkhal. It would have been more easier to supply enough driving water in the area. And, going by the houses that have cropped up from every nook and corner in the valley within a short period of 7/8 years, we could have had vibrant, bustling urban centres stretching far and wide around Melamchi by now.
The only thing the government needed to do was to connect Kathmandu with these ‘fantasy’ townships with aerial cable cars and 6/8-lane roads for people to commute daily. In big cities like Delhi or Mumbai or Tokyo people commute for work for a couple of hours daily.
So, in modern Nepal commuting for a few hours, too, to earn bread should not have been a problem either. Additionally, this could have stirred development activities much swiftly in Kavre, Sindhupalchowk and the surrounds. But now that the Melamchi is on the last leg of fruition, these wishful but doable thoughts are a pure waste of time.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
This is in reference to the news story “Dreadful atrocities” (THT, December 11, Page 8).
It is extremely petrifying to come across such news that our society has yet not been free from sexual violence and crimes. It is a grave concern that how such thing cannot be eradicated. We have been hearing news of sexual crimes for the umpteenth times but nothing has been done so far effectively to put a stop to such nefarious acts. It is not always the government to be blamed. Our society must be enlightened and respect the shared values and dignity and lastly humans should take pride in what makes our society civilised.
Shiva Neupane, Melbourne