Apropos of the news story “Encroachment on Bagmati continues” (I, July 12, Page 3), encroachment of public land has multiplied since the quakes. It is a pity that a large number of people affected by the quakes took shelter in the open spaces and finally occupied the spaces. Bagmati river banks are only the tip of the iceberg filled with slums, squatters, and vendors. They cannot be evacuated simply by a warning issued by any government agency. They cannot be easily evacuated from the river banks because of their poverty, as they do not find any suitable land to settle and earn for their livelihood.
This problem has been aggravated by the government’s inability to relocate them in suitable places on time. Most of the slums and squatter settlements date back to 1980s. The government had tried to resettle them at Sundarighat, that too, on the Bagmati river banks in 2012. However, it failed to do so because of the stiff protest from the locals. The government should come up with an alternative relocation plan for the slum dwellers. A way out of this problem is to engage them in the
reconstruction works being carried out in the quake affected districts where they can get employment opportunity and some space for settlement.
Som Nath Ghimire, via e-mail
This is with reference to the news story “Display before and after quake photos: DoE (THT, July 13, Page 2). The Department of Education has recently directed all district education offices (DEOs) to tell schools in their districts to display photos of schools and their infrastructure damaged by the devastating earthquake of April 25 and its aftershocks. Khagendra Nepal, spokesperson for the Department of Education, said they have asked the schools to take pictures of their schools damaged to demonstrate the status of their infrastructure after the quake. He stated it would also be appropriate to display photos of schools not damaged before the quake. It will help people understand the scale of destruction triggered by the quake.
Pratik Shrestha, Kathmandu
Apropos of the news story “’Jail escapee’, who was arrested on Saturday, was never in jail!” (THT, July 9, Page 3), this story is sure to make the Hollywood and Bollywood moguls go gaga. Although I strongly believe that criminals must be dealt with firmly, I could not help admiring the bandit for his courage, intelligence and resourcefulness in making mincemeat of our system, highly corrupt no doubt. If it was not corrupt, such blunders could not have happened under any circumstances. It is time for the government, if there is one, to set up an enquiry to ferret out the accomplices on the side of law. All those abetting the criminal must be punished.
J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur