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Wellbeing Dependent on Melamchi Myth
Two decades earlier, then Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai had envisioned that the residents of Kathmandu would be at ease from the chronic water shortage after the completion of the Melamchi Water Supply Project. This dream has yet to be realized though the project is supposed to be a reliable long-term alternative source of water supply in Kathmandu.
Kathmanduites are, however, still optimist about the project’s completion at the earliest. Meanwhile, the problems faced by the city dwellers are worth mentioning.
Intensified installation of water pipes in the Kathmandu Valley has added the plight to the city dwellers. The roads are dug up and pipes are laid everywhere along the roadsides, leading to long hours of traffic jam.
The vehicles can almost always be seen in long queues along the roads, while no one is sure about reaching their destination in time. The dusty roads add to this already polluted concrete jungle of a city. Even if you get out of your house full of energy and fresh, you’ll be covered in dust and smoke by the time you reach your destination. It is not surprising to see vehicles stuck into pits.
As it rains, the roads become muddy and slippery like a paddy plantation field, causing difficulty to walk for the pedestrians. Moreover, vehicles spatter mud into people. After a few minutes of scorching sun, the same mud turns into dust, causing suffocation to breathe.
Kathmandu residents are inhaling dust instead of fresh air. Coming outside the house without a face mask is almost impossible. The dust particles present in the atmosphere have formed a thick layer in buildings, making the city look uglier.
Apart from this, most of the people are suffering from air and water borne diseases due to pollution, while most hospitals in the valley are overcrowded with sick people.
Though the Melamchi Drinking Water Project will be fruitful in future, haphazard installation of water pipes has completely disrupted the symmetrical life of Kathmandu dwellers. Long-term health hazards could arise due to such intense air pollution. If the government fails to check and balance a sustainable long-term plan to improve the health and well-being of Kathmandu residents in due time, no one can guarantee a healthy living in Kathmandu in the days to come.
Bhoj has recently completed his MPhil in English.