Jan 24, 2016-
How sad to hear that petroleum products like petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas are being smuggled in huge amount from across the border in collusion with security forces and local administration(‘Govt agencies found involved in smuggling of fuel: NHRC’, January 21, Page 1)? I was quite surprised to learn that around 150,000 litres of petroleum products were being smuggled with the direct involvement of government agencies themselves through Thori alone on a daily basis? Who can be held responsible in our country if the concerned government security forces and administrative departments themselves are found to be involved in the smuggling of fuel in an organised way? What are the duties and responsibilities of the concerned Ministers and Ministry in this case? It is quite impossible to commit such crimes without the involvement of top bureaucrats or politicians. The state is losing a huge amount of revenue due to the thriving black marketeering of petroleum products on a daily basis. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority should take stern action against the smugglers, no matter who they are. Only then can we hope for something positive in the midst of the current chaos.
- Dakkal Pandit, via email
Authorities should stop kidding with the street vendors (‘Authorities prepare to evict Lalitpur street vendors’, January 18, Page 2). By alternately permitting and evicting them from the ancient marketplace stretching from Lagankhel to Mangal Bazaar at their personal whims and fancies, Lalitpur municipality is not treating the vendors with respect that they are due in the republican set-up. Vendors do not hinder but help increase pedestrian flow on this road. School buses, kindergarten vans, pickup and grocery vans, speeding motorcycles and now buses lining up for fuel obstruct pedestrian movements. Also, there is no footpath from Lagankhel to Mangal Bazzar except for a few yards of open space from the edge of the Lagankhel bus park to Kumari Pati-Prayag Pokhari intersection. When the vendors do not use this space, the motorcyclists do as a parking lot, severely hindering pedestrian movement. In fact, there is no footpath at all from the tourist bus park at Na Tole to Gwarko except for a few strip patches towards the tourist ticket counter at durbar square. Nor is there any footpath from Patan Dhoka to Mangal Bazzar or Mangal Bazaar to Banglamukhi and Sankhamul. This is the state of affairs around the periphery of a UNESCO World Heritage site. And, most importantly, there is not a single stripe of zebra-crossing anywhere in the above places and streets for pedestrians’ use.
Rather than enjoying the heritage walks, tourists scamper with mortal fear of being knocked down by speeding bikes and vans. The well-managed souvenir market in the open space to the east of the famous Bhimsen temple is now used exclusively for parking private cars and bikes. No wonder tourists are becoming endangered species in the area. Instead one can find scores of local teenage couples hanging out, wooing and cooing, to the delight of onlookers. At other times, there is much music and dances for dohori video shooting.
In order to fulfill the locals’ penchant for riding and driving in every nook and corner
of the heritage site, the powerful authorities should also widen the roads from Pulchowk to Gwarko and Lagankhel to Sankhamul via many lanes around durbar square. In any case, the quaint little idiosyncratic houses have all been replaced by pillared monsters erasing the balance and beauty of the place. At least the widened roads will offer opportunities for two and four-wheelers to show off their skills.
- Manohar Shrestha, via email
Published: 24-01-2016 08:47