This is in reference to the photo (THT, April 1, Page 2) of locals protesting against road widening in the Valley that must be home to almost 3000-year-old civilisation.

People do not want road widening. It is shocking that the government wants to force it down their throats. Even the late King Birendra had reportedly instructed his men to not demolish a single house while making over Durbar Marg and other areas for the then biggest show in the country - SAARC conference in the 1980s.

The present road widening projects seem to have been promoted by assisting the land plotters on the big paddy field by the River Karmanas in Harisiddhi or for the parking convenience in front of the Batuk Bhairab temple and Ashoka Stupa at Lagankhel.

What is the point of road widening when it becomes more cumbersome even to walk because of disarrayed parking. It is the same story on the Patan Hospital-Jawalakhel four-lane road where more than one quarter of the road is occupied by parked vehicles, making it more difficult to drive and walk around than before the road was widened. Rather than road widening in the ancient Valley, the government must focus on completing other important roads such as the Rasuwagadi highway, Balaju-Kakani, and the arterial road to Madan Deupur from Nagarkot which have been in limbo. Have we ever heard of the Indian government widening roads in the core cities in Varanasi? Nepali planners must emulate Indians and build new modern townships like Gurugram  which was a desolate farmland decades ago.

In any case, road widening has not helped lessen the traffic jam in Kathmandu as is seen daily at Koteshwor intersection. So a flyover from Tinkune to Lokanthali is the only answer.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Food festival

This is with reference to the news story “Street food festival to be held in Bhairahawa” (THT, April 10, Page 4). It is a good initiative to organise such a programme as it will help promote local tradition, cuisine and people’s test in varieties of food as a whole. Various organisations involved in business, tourism and hospitality management are taking part in the street food festival which has recently become a common practice across the country.

As a multi-cultural society, Nepal is indeed rich in food culture. Food habit in the mountainous region is quite different from eating habit in the hot Tarai region, where people love to have a good test of samosa, pakoda, jalebi, raswari and other sweet juices. Such foods supply a plenty of liquid in the body to sustain in hot climate. In the mountainous region, people have to eat a lot of meat items to keep their body warm in cold climate.

The Siddharthanagar Municipality has been organising such events for the last three years and people have shown great interest in them. But the organisers should pay heed to hygienic aspects of food preparation.

Bhanu Sharma, Bhairahawa