Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Behind the Façade"

Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai,
Former PM

Dear Babu Ram jee

I, unfortunately, agree fully with the author, Bhoj Raj Poudel, of following article fully. I hope you will not take it negatively that I am joining the author in severely criticizing you. As a learned person people like you should take criticism sportingly.

I am told that you have a PhD degree in urban planning and there are many people that are praising your endeavor to widen Kathmandu city roads. I, unfortunately again, seem to hold a different perspective. Although you are a senior member of communist party, Maoists, but by widening the roads you have served the interest of a few feudal people at the cost of common people who are forced to walk simply because the sidewalks, which should at least be 2 meters wide, is not even a meter wide in many stretches where the roads were widened at your initiative.

You have called fast track road to link Kathmandu with Tarai "national pride," but I consider that project a national disgrace for this poor country of ours which doesn't produce a drop of petrol or diesel. I do understand that electric train/rail isn't feasible in areas where traffic isn't heavy. But that particular sector isn't like that - it is the main artery supplying necessities for the capital. I agree that the capital needs an access that is faster than what we have now. But electric train would have been better option. Now we are forced to import petroleum products in unaffordable quantum and you have given your blessing to many a hydropower projects for export. Therefore, this too is anomalous.

You will recall that I had pointed this out to you when you were Finance Minister in the cabinet led by Prachanda, you chose to ignore it. From the perspective of economy and economics of the country as well as urban planning, building another road is not prudent where electric train could have been sustainably operated.


Ratna Sansar Shrestha.

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