Published On: September 3, 2018 10:40 AM NPT By: Rejina Basnet

BIMSTEC a disturbance for the locals

BIMSTEC a disturbance for the locals

KATHMANDU, Sept 3: The summit meeting of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ended a few days back. The summit saw a participation of heads of state or government of its seven-member nations -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. With BIMSTEC, Kathmandu too saw overnight transformations; the tangled and messy electric wires were managed, roads were cleaned, and road edges were painted. Also, brick inspired gates, and flex entrances were erected on many corners to welcome the delegates of the member states. Along with the decors, came an unmanaged traffic control, which left a great number of people stranded in the middle of the road.

The primary agendas discussed at the 4th BIMSTEC summit included trade and investment, transportation and communication, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, poverty alleviation and public health. Hosting international summits as such could be very favorable for Nepal in many respects. However, its 11th-hour preparations regarding the overhaul of roads, fixing the potholes and clearing the roads to provide extortionate security to the dignitaries caused a great disturbance to the residents of Kathmandu. When the people are seen stranded, having to sacrifice their important works for the day, a question arises, “Is Nepal really capable of hosting an international summit?”

I met Shanti Kumal, a resident of Koteshwar, waiting for a bus with her child. She said, “I have to take my daughter to Kanti Hospital. I’ve been waiting for a bus for 20 minutes now. There’s no sign of any.” 

With the abrupt clearance of roads, the people were left stranded and clueless for the majority part of the summit. People from all grounds, such as students and officers, were directly affected causing the delay in their works. Although people faced a lot of sufferings, they still seem hopeful for a positive and prosperous outcome from the summit.

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