LETTERS: Nutshell with holes

Apropos of “In a nutshell” (THT, May 9, Page 1) the government has omitted important agendas pertaining to self-sufficiency in basic survival kits like potable water, food grains; access to quality education and health for all in public sector; and protection of environment and natural resources such as gravel, sand, stones, boulders etc.

Rather than chasing railways on Mahendra Highway and Rashuwagadhi to Lumbini detouring Kathmandu and Pokhara, which might easily take us a century or more, it would be better if the government maintains and improves the presently existing roads.

The potholes on the roads of the grand capital are an affront to our dignity. What about ‘one district, one product’? Has that fizzled out? Nobody in district forest and agro headquarters that I visited recently seem to have any inkling about this slogan.

The government may not have to worry too much about ‘One City, One Product’ as the tourism traders, right from taxi drivers at the airport to hotel honchos, know exactly which city offers what products. It would also be wiser to lessen our dependency on fossil fuel as even Saudis are trying to steer away from the oil economy.

Instead we should move closer towards replacing all our current transport with Elon Musk’s Tesla cars that have taken the world by storm by bagging orders worth US$ 5 billion in 24 hours.

Our vehicle traders who have so far enjoyed the ignominy of acting as agents for southern transport manufacturers could serve the nation better by importing clean cars, trucks and buses.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


It is with reference to the news story “Wildfires spread to Himachal; seven dead in Uttarakhand” (THT, May 2, Page 7).

The report rightly identified the causes of wildfires in the Himalayan forests and in highlighting the climate change angle.

However, the report did not mention the anthropogenic impacts behind the spread of the forest fires.

The various forested states of India have poorly trained and low salaried forest staff members; and their numbers are way below than what is essential in efficiently conserving forest resources.

Furthermore, they lack necessary funding, gears, vehicles and tools for responding to crisis situations related to forests such as this devastating forest fire. Several callous tourists and irresponsible villagers while making fire pits in forested belts for camping and domestic purposes are often responsible for accidentally starting forest fires.

Unless such anthropogenic sources of fires are completely doused, a small piece of even poorly burning wood could initiate an inferno if appropriate conditions are available.

Last but not the least, the role of timber mafia operating in this region needs to be seriously investigated to check if they are responsible for starting the fire secretly for procuring dry and charred wood from the forest department and make huge profits.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada