Some positive news: For a better future

The feasibility study of a metro rail in Valley has given a kind of hope for a better transport system. The passengers of the overcrowded micro buses and those who face hectic traffic congestion every day are the ones who welcome the feasibility study

A Facebook status from my acquaintance collided on what I had been wondering about in the last few weeks. Nepalese people are loaded with very good news in the period.  If we just ignore the political turmoil in the country and look at the other side, some of the positive news has given bright rays of hope for the suffering Nepalese. After more than two long decades of desperate waiting, Melamchi Drinking Water Project has achieved a breakthrough in its construction and the authorities are hopeful to be able to provide drinking water to the Kathmanduites by next September or October. The government has signed an MOU with the JICA for the construction of the underground highway from Naagdhungha to Naaubise, a major neck road that links Kathmandu to the prime highway creating trouble for thousands of travelers every day.

Road expansion work is going to be expedited in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Feasibility study for a metro rail in Kathmandu is underway. The Department of Road Transportation has started one more service centre in Kathmandu and will open three more such centers within a month and the driving license seekers can fill up application forms online. The Passport Department has opened a similar on-line application system for the service receivers’ convenience. All these items of good news sound odd to our ears and we are skeptical of these as we are used to mostly negative news, and our bureaucratic and political leaders have lost public faith. However, the progress that has happened in the near past can be regarded as positive signs for a better future.

The poor supply of drinking water in Kathmandu is going to be improved, and the consumers are going to get some relief after the Melamchi project is completed. The Kathmanduites will not have to sacrifice their sleep at night to get their few water pots filled. It was a dream project of the late Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. However, the project is taking longer than expected because of political instability, disturbances from locals and an inefficient bureaucratic structure and its incompetent leadership. The Kathmanduites needed to depend on private companies supplying poor quality underground water in tankers at a high price. The signing ceremony between the government of Nepal and JICA for the construction of underground highway from Naagdhungha to Naaubise section has given immense pleasure to those who have experienced spending hours in traffic congestion in this section. Besides the long traffic queues, the section is also accident prone. This is good news for thousands of travelers and vehicle-drivers who are compelled to use this highway. Although the project will take seven years to complete  the general people are happy.

The government has forcefully instructed all cabs/taxis to install electronic billing machines in them. The decision is largely in favour of consumers. The taxis in Kathmandu charge arbitrarily, and the consumers are being looted in broad daylight. If implemented properly, the taxi owners/drivers will also benefit in  the long run. The night-users of  taxis from the Bus Station away from the core of the city, airports and tourist spots will no longer be cheated.

The banning of waste disposal outside on the road from  vehicles and proper billing arrangement for the use of taxi are signs that we are trying to move to a more civilized  city life.

Overcrowded departments like passport and road transportation create tension to thousands. A consumer no longer need stay overnight in queues outside the Department of Road Transportation just to get a date to submit the application form for license exams and practical trail after the online application system is in place. Even this simple/minor arrangement has given much happiness. The system is sure to jeopardize the under-table earnings of the department officials who might have political and financial clout to get transferred there. These officials may try to foil the system in order to continue with their present misdeeds. The same is the case in the Department of Passport where low profile people can be seen wasting days seeking travel documents. Mostly the poor and underprivileged ones are in the queues desperately waiting to get passports that open the door for them to reach places where they have to face cheating manpower agencies too.

The Department of Labor has to come up with a provision where those who seek labor-permission from the department deposit the needful amount in the department itself and the bill issued by the department has to be accepted by the manpower agencies. Then the concerned agencies can get

reimbursement of the needed amount from the Department of Labor for the service they give to the consumers.

The feasibility study of a metro rail in Kathmandu has given a kind of hope for a better transport system in the future. The passengers of the overcrowded micro buses and those who face hectic traffic congestion every day are the ones who welcome the feasibility study. The Kathmanduities  want to see the rails running through the roads easing  transportation.

These news items are also important because the poverty afflicted Nepalese society has heard little news of progress and prosperity, and they are fed up with  negative news of murder, accidents, deaths, corruption and so on.