All emotions dissipated we return to reality and the spectre of the blind men and the elephant haunts us again. This time it is postmortem analysis made and conclusions drawn by the blind men to pin the blame for the mass destruction on the house owners, the so called substandard construction, the multi stories and public road encroachment et al. The government in its desperation to publicly demonstrate that it is strong and swift in action, and, it is the government that works, has lapped up whatever comes on its way and already started to draw up various punitive and control measures to subjugate the ‘errant’ house owners. But none of the analysts seem to have visited the site of destruction, for, if they had, even a cursory glance would have revealed to them that almost all the houses have been destroyed because the ground have swallowed them and very few have suffered structural damage to show substandard construction. The crux of the problem is not the quality of construction of the houses, but the quality of the ground on which they were built. Ironically the stronger houses suffered more risk and damage simply because the ground could not take the load. The ‘government approved planning and plotting’ is a misnomer for rice fields and sold as homestead land. The self styled ‘land developers’ obviously did not even have an inkling of what land development meant, because they were either illiterate farmers selling their farmland or land brokers out to make a quick buck. But in the chain of government procedures and approval and before the land was passed on to the house owners for building houses, a qualified engineer must have been involved, and he must have known about land reclamation technology to be adopted before agricultural land is declared as a homestead land. In Kathmandu metropolitan area the New Bus Park area suffered the maximum damage. The decision to locate the bus park here must have been made as usual, on the behind the scenes push and pull of vested interests and influential people and not on sound technical appraisal. In the frenzy to locate the bus park and turn its soil into gold nobody noticed the semi circular ring of Rani Ban hills enveloping the area. The bus park was built and its ancillary industry developed with Nepalis from all over the country converging in and building hotels and guest houses and other commercial establishments and making it one the most populated areas of Kathmandu.
Passing the buck
Published: 01:26 am Jun 10, 2015