LETTERS: Poorly equipped

The city of Kathmandu is served by the Juddha Barun Yantra Fire Fighting facility to meet its fire fighting needs.

A city that aspires to be a modern metropolis should not fail to maintain, ignore or upkeep the fire station that is charged with the safety of its citizens.

I had an opportunity to visit this fire station a few days back. I cannot sensatize my comments because what I saw there was totally unacceptable and dangerous to both the firefighters and public.

The photo itself speaks volumes about the pathetic condition of the fire station. To see this even one year after the earthquake is a reminder of the irresponsibility of the authorities.

The building housing two fire fighting engines are parked under a recently constructed two storey building. The office of the head of the fire department is at the second floor.

When I was there before the earthquake, I had walked up the stairways to his second floor office and discussed issues related to fire safety and building safety of fire stations with him.

The stairway to the office has been damaged by the quake and unsafe to keep the office there that had already been damaged by the 1934 quake.

A new quake resistant fire station must be built. It is the fire fighters who have to respond quickly in case of fire in any part of the city and in the event of earthquakes like the one that we experienced last year.

The fire fighting department should be well equipped and the staffers must be kept on the standby. This is matter of serious concern that one cannot overlook in times of emergencies.

Ananta Baidya, Via e-mail


Apropos of your editorials “Antiquated system” and “Pollution concerns” (THT, May 23, Page 6), these are more pressing needs in the country than buying ships and digging Himalayan plains for oil and gold.

It would not be surprising if the Nepal government is still using the weather forecast contraptions installed aeons ago in Nawalpur, Taplejung, Okhaldungha and Kathmandu by the Indian government under the leadership of senior meteorologist, late Ratna Man Shrestha.

I remember him releasing hydrogen-filled large balloons twice daily in 1966 and following their flight path with a simple telescopic device to read weather accurately.

Today, whenever I need to know about weather forecast, for example, while flying I follow the weekly and daily weather prediction from foreign TV channels.

Be it Hud Hud or the recent Andra-Bangla storm, we can accurately predict the weather that is likely to occur in a day or two later in Kathmandu and other parts of the country.

As for pollution, we know Kathmandu is the filthiest city in the world. The government can refurbish its image at home and abroad by eliminating or at least bringing down the pollution to safe level.

There are easy ways to do it: Relocate all the brick kilns outside the Valley. Half of the air pollution can be reduced if brick kilns are relocated.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu