#PM visits Helambu

COMMENTARY: What made you wait for a month, Mr Prime Minister?

Published On: July 11, 2021 03:29 PM NPT By: Kunga Hyolmo

Whatever Oli has announced for the people of flood- and landslide-hit Helambu and Melamchi is too little and too late.

Prime Minister KP Sharma visited Helambu Rural Municipality on Saturday, almost a month after floods and landslides devastated Helambu and downstream villages. Helambu Rural Municipality is only 80 kilometers away from the capital – Kathmandu – but it took a month for PM Oli to reach there. PM Oli was accompanied by Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Basanta Kumar Nemwang and former Health Minister Sher Bahadur Tamnag.

Despite their late visit to Helambu, it would have been commendable only if they had announced better and new aids to the Helambu and Melamchi flood victims. PM Oli flew to Helambu, chartering a helicopter, and conducted an aerial inspection of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project and many other devastated villages. PM Oli announced to provide Rs 50,000 to a family of victims and provide financial support to the displaced people to buy land and build a house in safer places but they have no idea when that amount will be provided. Many fear that there will be no roofs to protect them from rain, no food to feed their children, no electricity and communication services.

PM Oli seems to be so busy in protecting his position that it took him almost a month to ponder about the problems of Helambu and Melamchi. While the government has deployed only a single M17 helicopter to ship relief materials across the Helambu and Melamchi areas, PM Oli had no shame in chartering a chopper – whose fares will probably be paid by the government – to Helambu empty-handed and with false hopes. Meanwhile, those who are trying to reach out to the people of Helambu and distribute much-needed relief materials have no other options than chartering private choppers paying almost Rs 100,000.

If only the PM was a wise man and good political leader of the nation, he would probably have visited Helambu and Melamchi right the day after the floods and landslides. People would have praised him. During that time, his presence alone would have brought some hope to the people. The government is considered the guardian of the citizens but Oli and our government were not there when the people of Helambu and Melamchi needed them the most. Whatever Oli announced for the people of Helambu and Melamchi on Saturday is surely too little and too late.


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