- Voice Of The People
Aug 11, 2017-We are in the midst of monsoon and while the steady stream of rain is a source of happiness, motorists are having a tough time dealing with potholes that have surfaced all over the place. Potholes are holding up traffic and causing serious inconvenience to motorists. People have to drive slowly and carefully to avoid potholes, thus leading to crawling traffic (‘Monsoon madness’, August 7, Page 6). With murky water filling the potholes, it gets even harder to gauge the depth of the cavity. Lots of repair work needs to be carried out. It is also observed that manholes in the city continue to pose a risk for motorists, especially those on two-wheelers. The manholes constructed for quick access to underground sewage drains are below the actual road surface, and they form potholes as well. Sometimes, the covers are simply missing.
Construction in the Valley is taking place according to the whims and fancies of individual owners. For those building narrow towers in narrower alleys, KMC yo-yoing through guidelines and enforcement is probably met with a sigh of relief (‘KMC to monitor building works’, July 30, Page 2). First the KMC guidelines mulled 3.5 feet compound walls. Now, of course the walls have gone up to double that height at most places, including government offices in the Valley. Then they decided to only allow up to three storeys in small plots of land and dense areas with no motorable road. Now, of course, the height of buildings has risen to the pre-quake levels again. There were talks of not allowing extensions protruding from building tops; that too is history now. There was also a talk of build-up area to land ratio. Strict monitoring was the mantra not too long ago, with the aim of saving lives from the next killer quake or fire. Yet, buildings in the narrow alleys completed just a few months ago are over five and a half storeys tall. Houses lined up on either side of the alleys make walking through them ominous. Then scores of motorcycles parked in these alleys make walking a laborious chore. So what is KMC going to monitor? Is it going to demolish the storeys exceeding the limit and order removal of parked motorcycles obstructing the narrow alleys? Will the monitors be monitored to make sure that they have monitored diligently—and no money has changed hands? Most importantly, will each monitor be made accountable for specific areas so that action can be taken against them if buildings under their jurisdiction are not constructed according to KMC guideline approvals (‘KMC to monitor building works’, July 30, Page 2).
- Manohar Shrestha,
Suicide in Nepal has become a minor national issue, as highlighted by a series of high-profile suicides. In recent years, Nepal has been ranked 126th in the 2015 WHO report on suicide rates. 6,840 suicides occur in Nepal annually. Suicide is currently the leading cause of death for Nepali women. Numerous youth attempt suicide for many reasons. Every person dreams of having a nice life and career. When teenagers fail academically, they think that their parents’ investment in them has been wasted. They are afraid to face their parents so they choose the alternative—suicide. Love is another reason why people commit suicide, whether it’s the loss of love, or separation due to cultural and religious stigma that causes it (‘Kavre grappling with rising cases of suicide’, August 1, Page 4).
- Subansu Gyawali,
Published: 11-08-2017 08:08