I came across the following crowd in Samakhusi yesterday.
They had created a roadblock demanding that their neighborhood road be black-topped NOW. They had been sick and tired of the dust from the road and the effect that was having on their health and on their business, among other things.
The road in question looked like this.
Such roads in Kathmandu are common, very common, especially now following the laying of water pipes as part of Melamchi drinking water project.
In addition to the dust from such roads being hard on the lungs and adeversely affecting the health of the residents of the city, such roads are hard on the soles of your shoes, on vehicles, their tyres and they can also cause accidents.
Apparently their neighborhood road (in red in the image below) has been in a constant state of construction for the last three years! (Perseverance is a Nepalese personality trait!! 😀 😀 ) The last time I drove on it, I remember thinking, “This looks like a road in a war zone!”
A lone policeman was trying to deal with the protestors.
And it worked! Here’s what the road looked like this morning!
The roadblock was still there (see below)…but now for a different reason, of course!
There you go!
You want the concerned authorities to fix your neighborhood roads in Kathmandu? This is how you go about getting it done!
What do you think?
Do come back to check on the progress of the road work! I’ll update the post with more photos!
April 26 Update
Above, when I had said it worked, I thought they had plans to continue the work and finish what they had started.
I paid a visit to the street the following day, on April 21, and was disheartened to see that whatever the construction worker had done was going to waste following the rain. Not knowing much about road construction, to me, it appeared that what they had done was to prepare the road for black-topping. But the rains had turned it onto a mess (see image below)!
They had sprayed the road with some black liquid and that was it!
And what’s more, when I was there, they even were removing the road block (see image below).
I thought, “Oh no! They are giving up! The neighborhood is giving up!” But little did I know….
Yesterday afternoon, I saw two truck, filled with what appeared to me like materials for black-topping the road, parked right where the road block had been. So I made a point of visiting the street earlier today…and the following is what greeted me!!
Yes, what it looks like is what you think it looks like!!!
So, in about a week since the neighborhood took action, their road has been black-topped.
I keep saying that, it’s not that we in Nepal CAN’T do what we are supposed to do, what need to be done. Rather that we WON’T do them!
But with some pressure and community action, this neighborhood has shown that they can move the concerned authorities into action!
Kudos to the community in Samakhusi! Now it’s just a matter of the rest of the communities in Kathmandu affected by this kind of neglect to rise up and get the asses of the authorities in gear!