Saturday Features

100 days of incompetence

- Guffadi

Sep 9, 2017-Our great Mayor of Kathmandu, Bidya Sundar Dai, has completed his hundred days in office. If our Mayor had his way then he would not have hesitated to spend some bucks to buy Kathmanduites a slice of cake each to celebrate the occasion. But that would be wasteful spending, wouldn’t it? Yes, buying something for the residents of Kathmandu Metropolitan City is wrong but wanting to buy mobile phones worth more than thirty thousand Rupees for ward chairpersons is right. And our Mayor was not happy with a luxury vehicle worth millions used by the Chief Executive then and had to buy a new one because he had to match the status symbol of being the Mayor of Kathmandu!

I think our civil servants and politicians sometimes forget that we are one of the poorest countries in the world and it is because of them our passport get no respect at immigration counters everywhere. No wonder, even our own immigration people extort and exploit folks who carry the green passport and want to go overseas to make a few Ringgits and Dinars. So when we all know that we really don’t have much dough, why do our sarkari hakims and chor netas continue to want new vehicles for themselves when they can do with the old ones their government agencies have in office?

We, the people thought that things would now change and we would finally get our local representatives to work for us after the local elections but it seems that we have gotten ourselves the same bunch of conniving buffoons to head our local units as well. We were wrong because we elected the chors from the major political parties instead of giving new political parties or independent candidates any chance to lead us at the local level.

Bidya Sundar Dai is our great ‘Dreamer’ Oli’s brother in law. It certainly helped to get a ticket to stand up for election for Mayor and he won. Then, he either was suffering from hallucinations from the fumes in the valley or had abused some narcotic substance when he went on to promise us that he would complete 101 tasks in 100 days after he took the oath as the Mayor of Kathmandu.

Instead of fixing potholes in the city, our Mayor told us that it would be wasteful spending in the Monsoon to fix our roads. Yes, he was right and even when our kids die or get injured due to the open sewage holes, our Mayor was silent and did not care much. He was probably busy trying to figure out how to make some moolah with government contracts to our slimy contractors in the future.

Our Mayor promised us that he would make the capital city, a smart, green and beautiful place to live. Well, we all know that it is not possible to do much in hundred days but he should have at least started somewhere. Our Metropolitan City still can’t manage its garbage problems.  Our Mayor promised to raise the social security allowance to Rs 12,000 to folks above the age of 84. First of all, if you get past the age of 80 these days while living in Kathmandu then you should invite researchers from Harvard to see if these folks have a different type of genes from the rest of us. And instead of only doling out cash to our super-senior citizens, why not offer freebies on everything from housing, travel, medical treatment and even recreational and religious activities as well. Yes, a free pilgrimage to Vanarasi, Mecca, Jerusalem, the Vatican or Lumbini to our 80-year olds depending on their religious affiliation. Now, that would be great gift to our super men and women! What happens if you are an atheist? Well, send him or her to Disneyland instead!

Why not make our capital city a free WiFi Zone instead of only a few places around town? We know that we will not have well maintained roads or sewage or even drinking water system for another few years but at least give Kathmanduites free WiFi so that they can at least take the pictures of the city and send it to the Mayor himself.  How about a Selfie right next to a big pothole that looks like a mini-asteriod hit Kathmandu? How about showing our motorbike wallahs riding through big sewage and water pipes laying idle on our roads?

We could even promote our capital city as a trekking destination because you do need tough boots, walking sticks, ropes and other climbing essentials like helmets and harness just to make sure that you can walk around the city without falling into deathtraps.

So, Mayor Shakya forget about smart city or mono rail or cable car or turning our capital into Seoul.  Just stop procrastinating and get down to business by first cleaning up the city, fixing our potholes, managing our traffic and then making sure pedestrians have a place to walk, our bicycle wallahs have their own lanes and so do the bus wallahs. Maybe, we should even have a separate lane for our motorcycle riders as well.

We don’t need metro rail either. Maybe, our Mayor can even work with our DIG Saheb to minimise the traffic problems in the capital. Why not make all of our roads go one-way and ban vehicles around our heritage sites and major tourist attractions? You don’t need to spend billions to make this city clean, green and great.  Our Mayor should not compare himself to the Mayor of other major cities in the world. They have enough budget and resources to tackle their problems. We don’t and it’s about time our Mayor took to the streets and used the kucho to clean an alley every day for at least half an hour and then work as a traffic volunteer during rush hour to help our traffic police for an hour or two. Then, he can ask Kathmanduites to help him in his effort to bring Kathmandu back to normal instead of letting our beautiful Kathmandu wither and die! Don’t expect us to clean your stubble while you live in a bubble, Mr Mayor!

- Guffadi is a grumpy old man who blogs at guffadi.blogspot.com. You may contact him at maguffadi@gmail.com

Published: 09-09-2017 09:59

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