Political quagmire


Gopen Rai

The Nepal Communist Party came to power promising prosperity, and the path to that goal it said was through massive investment in connectivity: railways, fast-tracks, inland waterways and international airports.

The residents of Kathmandu, however, grapple daily with a much more mundane problem: negotiating the muddy quagmires of the capital’s roads.

Commuters have a choice: dust or mud. Roads are filled with craters that turn into boggy booby traps (below). Last monsoon, a school girl was swallowed up by a swollen drain. The video of another girl swept away by a flooded road and rescued alive went viral.

Kathmandu Valley’s streets are a death trap. One year after elected mayors took office, there has been no improvement. Politicians pretend to crack down on contractors whom they themselves protect. The people are fed up, and have started ridiculing grandiose promises of monorails and expressways.

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