Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Re: [NNSD] My article on "fast" track

January 12, 2010
Arun Sharma
Phoenix, AZ


You must have meant to ask: does a train fully substitute road transport?

Nepal isn’t US. US is rich not only financially but also in fossil fuel. Besides, she can afford to emit ¼ of world GHG emission but not Nepal. Nepal is rich in water resources (but does not possess a drop of fossil fuel) and she can benefit by optimum exploitation of it but not by perpetuating the dependency syndrome on fossil fuel thereby causing balance of trade deficit, balance of payment deficit to haunt her for ever (also forcing NOC to incur ever increasing loss). Having both is not the best use of resource of a country like Nepal. However, from the technical perspective a service track will have to be built which will not be able to cope as MRT, though.

In the cities and suburbs we can continue to have road network but we should plan to have only hybrid (if not entirely electric) vehicles ply. The better mode of MRT on these roads will be trolley buses instead of smoke belching buses. Because, Nepal won’t be able to have subways like you have in US due to poor geology (underground – tunneling and lining the tunnels becoming exorbitantly costly) and weak superstructure over-ground (houses will not be able to withstand thundering subways underground). Continuing on this vein, we should think of setting up cable cars and ropeways instead of blasting fragile hills to carve out roads to pollute the pristine environment of such hills and create new and bigger Krishna Bhirs and Jogimaras.

From the perspective of carbon footprint, electric transport system in US still causes pollution to an extent, as it only displaces tail pipe emission while continuing with smoke stack from power generation plants. In Nepal electrification of transport does indeed eliminate carbon footprint.

Today’s papers are filled with the news of finance ministry asking NOC to reduce fossil fuel import which is well neigh impossible. But it will become possible in the medium (even short) term if we start electrifying our transportation system gradually and in phased manner. This too impels us to electrify our transport as much as possible.

Availability of both modes of transport becomes important from the perspective of those who cherish their mobility even after reaching a destination afforded by their own vehicle. We should plan to have provision to transport private vehicles in the electric train itself.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha,

From: [] On Behalf Of Arun Sharma
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 20:12
Subject: Re: [NNSD] My article on "fast" track

Ratna Shrestha-ji,T

hanks for your article. Does a train FULLY substitute a train? US experience- it does not. May be we need both?

Best wishes,
Arun Sharma
Phoenix, AZ

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