Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RE: My article in Spotlight on Upper karnali

March 30, 2010

Mr Kul Chandra Gautam
Former Assistant Secretary General, UN

Dear Kul Chandrajee

I am highly appreciative of you for the kind words that you have used about me. I agree with you that Nepal can benefit from what I have come to learn and understand about the sector and a vision that I have developed for this sector.

It’s unfortunately true that I have been performing a role of a fire extinguisher. Powers-to-be make avoidable mistakes that are detrimental to Nepal and her people and I critique them after learning about such decisions. Simply because we don’t have a system under which their “potential and prospective” decisions could be vetted by the likes of me before they are made. I would have enjoyed such a role more than anything, but for outdated and dilapidated system of decision making.

It’s also true that I could have taken a proactive approach and started discourse on issues as to how each should be handled. But that isn’t practical as media will not be too eager to publish writings on things which have yet to become controversial. Moreover, I can limit my critique to a certain number of words in the interest of the restriction of the media concerned (leaving out a couple of, even important point, does not impair the article). But when I am to lay down my vision, any such limit will truncate the vision and neither will people understand it nor will powers-to-be able to implement it. Meaning a vision about a project, sub-sector or sector of the economy will have to be fully complete and media is unable to accommodate such needs. Therefore, I am left to resort to sneaking in a few suggestions while criticizing.

In one article of different genre I have laid down my vision as to how Nepal should benefit from water resource which can be perused by following the link below:

I thank you for your confidence that I could lead a team to come up with a long-term master plan for the development of water resources and hydro-power. I am sure that I will really enjoy doing such a thing if that was to be possible.

I, unfortunately, am yet to meet George Varghese and it would be interesting to meet him to see if he could support such an activity.

I look forward to learn from you about the responses of George Varghese and Kanak Dixit to your email below.

With best regards,

Ratna Sansar Shrestha

From: Kul Gautam [mailto:kulgautam@hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 23:45
To: ratna sansar shrestha
Subject: RE: My article in Spotlight on Upper karnali

dear ratna sansarji,

considering the depth of your knowledge, your competent analyses, your boldness to speak out, and the consistent manner in which you try to always keep the best long-term interest of Nepal uppermost in your proposals, it seems to me that we need to find more effective ways for the country to take full advantage of your ideas and proposals.

so far, many of your writings and media appearances seem to focus on "what not to do"; how to avoid big blunders and unwise decisions. I know you also offer better alternatives when asked, but these are not always the focus of media attention or taken very seriously or constructively by our policy makers.

given the importance of water resources and hydro-power for nepal's future development, it would be very important for thoughtful citizens to come up with a compilation of good proposals - in fact, I would say, a comprehensive master-plan for water resources development. I understand some efforts were made in the past to just do that, but I do not recall seeing any convincing nationally-owned master-plan for this sector. what usually happens is that we seem to commission some studies based on some donor interest or investor interest rather than on the basis of long-term national interest.

donors come with their own baggage, prejudices and preferences. I recall ADB very lightly and summarily rejecting proposals for an electrically-operated railway transport system in favour of fast-track roads based on their expert advice, and we nepalis failed to challenge their claim. you have come up with so many alternative formulations for various past, present and possible future projects, but I fear that these will all be forgotten and ignored by future governments when prodded and prompted by powerful donors and investors.

it would be wonderful if you could lead a team to come up with a long-term master plan for the development of water resources and hydro-power which perhaps some of us in civil society could work together to publicise and advocate with current and future governments, donors and potential investors. such a proactive approach, rather than just critiquing other people's bad ideas would be a real contribution to national development.

I know this is not a task for one individual. it requires collective effort, and perhaps some resources to put such plan together. I am aware that george varughese of the asia foundation in nepal has been contemplating setting up some kind of a policy foundation to precisely look into and promote such policies. I am copying this message to george with the hope that perhaps you and he could meet and chat, if you have not done so already. if necessary and convenient, I would be happy to join.

it seems to me that given the current political stalemate and the long transition period ahead, now is the perfect time to prepare such master-plans in various sectors, so that such ideas can be presented to a more stable future government which hopefully will give priority for a massive national reconstruction and development plan which has not been seriously contemplated by any of our major political parties.

i am copying this to kanak dixit as well with whom i have talked about reconstruction and development for a number of years now. kanak and george are also in touch on setting up a niti (policy) foundation.

with best regards,
kul g
Kul Chandra Gautam
e-mail: kulgautam@hotmail.com
From: rsansar@mos.com.np
To: kulgautam@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: My article in Spotlight on Upper karnali
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 11:28:38 +0545

Dear Kul Chandrajee

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lol lol garnee kasai lee hoeena

rawi rai