Widening Kathmandu


Oct. 19, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 06 No.-09 Oct. 19 -2012 (Kartik 03, 2069)<br>

The talk of the town for quite some time has been road expansion. From every tea shop to bus stand, people love talking about how the houses have been broken down to create more space for vehicles and pedestrians, the amount of dust blowing in the air, the possibility of a better city and skepticism about all the government plans. Interestingly, everybody seems to have their own version of the affair and each version is different from another. Here’s a glimpse of what’s mine!


This entire idea of expanding the roads for a better traffic management finally sounded like a great initiative by the Prime Minister, something nobody else had dared do before. Defying the so-called powerful and influential peoples’ power, as many of them had to give a large chunk of their property, was another successful move never attempted by any known individual earlier. Though breaking down the houses and shutters of the less privileged seemed to be a terrible move to make, the thought of a better city and controlled traffic took over the guilt.


This high vision expansion plan, however, still has many flaws. Perhaps these flaws are what have made people indifferent, passive and also to some extent resentful towards the change. The major weakness of the entire project seems to be the lack of speed in building on what demolished so fast. This gives people a good reason to whine and complain all day long about the dust and some other inconveniences, including the confusion created by the multiple government line departments due to lack of coordination. Because some are already upset and angry about their walled compound bulldozed by the government, they are not welcoming this entire programme.  And such people and their thoughts have always stood in between the government and its developmental actions, widening the always prevalent missing link between policy making and implementation.


Nonetheless, moaning and grumbling during this work-in-progress is pretty much acceptable. The bumpy rides from one place to another, difficulty in walking due to negligent falling and placement of stones and mud all over, and ditches have made it extremely difficult to commute. Disturbances in telephone, television, electricity and internet services due to the digging and dumping has been posing another problem. Some evidences of eye irritation, respiratory disorder and stress due to this cumbersome process are also visible. In a nutshell, this short run transition period sees more of disadvantages over advantages, and people not foresighted enough seem to not get a glimpse of what the future looks like and when this is coming to the end.



Coming to the future, in a country like ours, the long run is synonymous to negative connotations and grumping over the present is not unexpected and unreal. But I think that we as citizens should really appreciate the first step ever to finally make roads for the Kathmandu traffic of 2069. Instead of dismissing the personal initiative of someone trying to outdo the roads that do not even match up our ever growing demands of vehicles, we should support the idea wholeheartedly and dream of a better tomorrow. Some people are even known to give up more than half of their houses, and to actually respect their acts, we should not back out from not giving up a portion of our lands. If it is the development or lack of it that always is our main problem with the otherwise so beautiful city, we should go hand in hand with this step to development.


Let us dream of a better, wider and cleaner capital sooner than later!

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