In the news story “Chinese president presses for execution of past pacts” (THT, March 28, Page 1) the Chinese leader reportedly ‘also urged Nepal to maintain harmonious relationship with India’. Earlier the former Chinese premier during his two-hour stopover in Kathmandu reportedly told Nepal to continue with ‘Roti-beti relation with India’. This wise and practical advice is as opposed to what current Nepali PM was reported to have told the Chinese establishment that he is not pro-India and anti-China as is made out by his opponents at home. It is unlikely that the powerful Chinese leadership will have any beef with Nepal’s historical, cultural, anthropological proximity with India.

In order to show its goodwill, notwithstanding which Nepali politicians are pro- or anti-India, China promptly pledged Rs. 140-million for the local level elections. This shows that the Chinese leaders, who are aspiring to be leaders of the world, are not perturbed by our domestic politics which at times degenerates into cat and mouse games. Their one and only concern is that there should not be any activities against one China policy in the Himalayan Republic.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Public toilets

This refers to your editorial “City sans toilets” (THT, March 28, Page 8). It is surprising that the toilets installed in the city are not maintained properly. It is the bad odour that discourages people from using public toilets. Most of the public toilets are not usable because of lack of cleanliness, electricity and water. As no efforts are taken by the local bodies to maintain them toilets remain in a poor condition. It is also observed that the toilets have no proper water supply and are badly maintained. It is a grave health issue. With many people coming to work daily the public toilets should be of use to the local as well as floating population and daily commuters. There should be a monitoring system to check the maintenance of toilets. Only education and awareness can do something. Educated or uneducated, people in rural areas, for want of indoor plumbing, use open space for defecating. There are people who think that open defecation is more hygienic and having an indoor toilet is dirty and filthy. We need a grass-roots campaign on how many diseases can be avoided by basic cleanliness and how spending on toilets is as important as developing other infrastructure. We don’t need to build new temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras etc.  Public toilets with good water facility are the need of the hour. Bringing about a change in mindset is the paramount need. While provision of hygienic toilets for the public is the buzzword in our country, lack of adequate public toilets and the appalling state of existing ones are a reality that the city can’t deny. Are the authorities listening

to our voice?

Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad