LETTERS: Waiting to happen

Apropos of the news story “Blaze at gas plant raises security questions” (THT, December 21,  Page 1), this sort of mishap is not surprising considering the admission of a public servant that gas companies do not comply ‘with even 10 percent of the prescribed safety standards’. With this tragedy in which two fire fighters lost their lives, the gas companies and the government must have learnt a painful lesson. Or have they? Dereliction of duty on the part of the government and negligence on the part of the gas companies and retailers has a huge cost. Should the government allow the retailers to store gas canisters in the buildings full of residents? I try to educate myself on the safety of storing canisters in the building from a few retailers who shrug off my apprehensions. So I assumed that this is not dangerous. What about petrol pumps? They must be very safe, too, next to residences and restaurants. If they were not safe the government would have already relocated them somewhere else. As for suicide of a Nepali girl in Bangladesh, the government and parents need to give it some thoughts before they send their teenage children abroad for studies. Meanwhile, the government must work with the authorities in Bangladesh to not only disgorge the truth on this suicide but also to work for the safety of Nepali students in the future “Prove fairly” (THT, December 21, Page 8).

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


There is no dearth of tourist places in the world. But Nepal’s uniqueness lies in its sheer variety possessing the potential to draw tourists of all vintage possible. While the religious group can enjoy Lumbini, Janakpur, Manakamana Temple, Pasupatinath Temple, Muktinath, Boudhanath, Swoyambhunath and other sites of the Hindu-Buddhist circuits the lovers of forest and animal lives can relish Chitwan National Park and the Baridiya National Park. The tourists desiring to savor history, architecture and culture can enjoy a whale of time in Kathmandu (itself a superb amalgamation of the ancient and modernity) boasting of UNESCO heritage sites like the three Durbar Squares within the Kathmandu Valley. Pokhra with its surrounding lofty mountain ranges, lake and water falls; provide another spectacle of beauty.

Nepal is also a delight for the tourists who desire to be entertained through casino, river rafting or trekking.  And of course, there exist a series of high Himalayan peaks with the mightiest Mount Everest attracting the expedition groups from all over the world.

Indeed there is no parallel of Nepal as far as variety of tourism activities are concerned and the country should exploit it fully, but positively so as to brighten up its economy to a great extent. Tourism can be one of the major sectors for earning foreign currency. But it needs to be managed appropriately.

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata