Monday, May 27, 2013

Recent Kathmandu floods

If one is to look at my blog posts, immediately after this, there is a post that talks of my Shangri~la, or at-least, despite of its flaws, how I still see Kathmandu as my Shangri~la...

There are always two components that makes any thing what it is, one is how it really is and the other, how it is perceived.

For me, Kathmandu will always be a wonderful city... a few days back, I was amazed to hear about flooding in the city. Kathmandu, a valley situated thousands of feet above sea level, not being on an even gradient, drained by at least three rivers that I can think of, is not one of the places that you would think of that would get "flooded" when it rains.

I have seen cities getting inundated when it rains, same happened in Kathmandu, it is an urban setting, many complexities surrounding the inundation, lack of proper and clean sewers is one cause, another major cause is lack of proper and sound urban planning. But this happens in many cities around the world, a few months back, New York witnessed something similar, so did Mumbai a few years back. Thankfully, no loss of life was reported.

However, the reason I am writing this post right now, is upon reading a popular English newspaper from Nepal, the editor of which wrote about how the floodwater dampened his evening after work. How he called various services such as the electricity company, and the contractors who were expanding the road in front of his house, and not get any answers or assurances.

I am far away from my Shangri~la, but my thoughts were back home when I heard of the flooding.

By the time I read the news, mentioned above, it was already a day past the floods, the rains had stopped and the water was starting to drain.

It was very important to see how the rains affected the evening of the Editor, however I would beg one simple answer, dear Mr. Editor, what of the thousands perhaps tens of thousands of other residents of Kathmandu who are not editors, who do not have phone numbers of important people or personal connections. You were rightly worried at what would happen to your home, but dear Mr. Editor, as you had mentioned in your article "I thought about many other people in Kathmandu who would be suffering the same fate, or even worse", perhaps you could call the people in the right (and dry) places to chance a glance at the plight of those who were in the middle of the floodwaters.

Thank you,

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