LETTERS: Take note and action

Apropos of the news story “Women complain of lack of toilets with proper facilities in public places” (THT, March 25, Page 2), anybody who has faced the wrath of nature’s call would understand the gravity of the challenge posed by lack of adequate and proper public toilets, especially for women. Thus, our government, which swears by upholding gender rights at every national and international forum, must start off by providing adequate clean, green women-friendly toilets at all public places including schools and colleges, movie theaters, hospitals, stadiums, malls, airports, government offices, streets and highways. The toilets must conform to facilities, hygiene and safety of international standard and specifications. There should also be a toilet specially built for disabled people who cannot use the common toilets. There is no point in having a few atrociously dirty hole-in-the-wall toilets at dingy and unsafe corners of buildings. The office bearers from the public health ministry and department should conduct regular raids and inspections to make sure that all public places including Barahi movie hall have adequate numbers of clean, gender-friendly, safe and easily accessible toilet facilities. All public places including schools that fail to provide proper toilets to girls and women must be charged with serious violation of fundamental rights. After all, right to relieve is the most basic need of all rights of living beings.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Air pollution

A shocking report has come to light recently. Ratnapark, the heart of the capital city, has emerged as the second most polluted place in the country after Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The air quality monitoring report carried out by the Department of Environment Ratnapark has recorded the second highest level of air pollution. But the report does not say specifically why Lumbini had the highest level of air pollution. It would have been better if the report mentioned the cause of the highest level of air pollution in Lumbini which is not as densely populated as the Kathmandu Valley. Everyone has a reason to ponder about Lumbini having historical, cultural, religious and archeological importance for the world.  Lumbini currently has a pollution level of 173.03 micrograms per cubic metre in comparison to 109.08 at Ratnapark. To be honest, the level of pollution is predicted to rise in days to come not only in these two areas but also in many other urban areas of the country with Kathmandu Valley being on top. It’s high time the government came out with a concrete plan of action to minimise the level of air pollution so that public health can be saved. In my opinion Lumbini has shown the highest level of air pollution because of heavy concentration of cement factories within the vicinity of the Buddhist pilgrimage.

Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar