If this is the state of the streets in the capital, imagine what it is like in the rest of the country.
Exactly a year ago this week, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa assured Parliament’s Good Governance Committee that the government would “coordinate with stakeholders” to fix roads in the capital.
“Due to the negligence of contractors, development projects have not moved ahead and efforts have been made to get them going in coordination with concerned ministries to improve the conditions of roads in Kathmandu,” Thapa was quoted as saying by state news agency RSS on 14 August 2018.
A year has passed. And like most government promises, it was never kept. Kathmandu’s roads this monsoon are in an even worse state than last year. Streets dug up for laying water mains or sewers are abandoned like booby traps, like this pit in Sanepa (above). After locals along the Boudha-Jorpati stretch blocked the street earlier this year in protest, the government hurriedly started repairs. But the monsoon turned the road into a quagmire again.