This is in response to the news story about the superb runner Mira Rai who won a gold medal in France for the 82-km marathon with an altitude of up to 6,000 metres. The marathon named Mont Blanc Skyrunner World Series in Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France was held Saturday. In that race, she was able to leave behind her nearest opponent who came second, by almost 21 minutes, winning one of the most popular races of the world. This is one of the four races the female marathon runner has won this year. Let’s hope her achievement will be given significance back in Nepal so that she will be able to gain the much-needed respect that she deserves. After all, it is a matter of pride for both Nepal and Nepalis since the country is currently recovering from the April 25 7.6 Richter scale earthquake and its aftershocks.

Pratik Shrestha, Kathmandu

Build bridge

Apropos of the news story “Monsoon poses serious challenge to travel and transport” (THT, June 28,

Perspectives, Page 1), it states under a subtitle - Ensuring Road Connectivity – the Department of Roads has made contingency plans to circumvent the road blocks to and from the capital during the monsoon by identifying several alternative routes. Further, it has also identified several roads in the hills that are prone to dangerous landslides because of the recent seismic movement. The focus of the Roads Department under MoPIT, however, seems to be concentrated in and around the capital and the hills, mostly around it. It should also expand its myopic vision and build bridges over unpredictable rivers like Orahi Khola in Bardia which has recently swept away two women (three dead, two missing in rain related

incidents (THT, June 28, Page 6). As the Department of Roads is aware, Orahi Khola flows between Ambassa on the East-West highway and Thakurdwara, the only entrance to one of Nepal’s best national parks: Bardia, a Garden of Eden for wildlife tourists. The lack of a bridge over this river not only impedes safe movement of the people but also acts as a severe deterrent to promotion of tourism, whose decline in the aftermath of the Great Quake is causing grave alarm among the tourism entrepreneurs.

The Department of Roads must urgently wake up to the need of not only putting the bridge over Orahi but also upgrading the dirt road from Ambassa to Thakurdwara to tap the tourism-dollars. Without a bridge and a proper asphalt road, Bardia National Park will not be able to live up to its full potential as a premium wildlife destination that can hugely supplement foreign exchange revenue to the national

exchequer. The Department of Roads is surely aware as much as we are about the importance of tourism promotion for generating revenues, foreign exchange and precious jobs, especially in the remote interior of the country that has no other viable job opportunities.

J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur