It was a bit of a surprise to find no potholes in New Zealand and later in Australia. Potholes were a fact of life back in Kathmandu. It’s not that there are no potholes at all on the roads here in Australia. They simply have a very short life span. One spots them today and within a day or two somebody patches them up and a lot of others on the road you hadn’t quite noticed. There are squads on the road surveying specifically for potholes and patchwork and they’re doing it on a daily basis. It’s not that I have inside knowledge but it must be so. The taxpayers are very fussy about what goes on with taxpayer’s money. I’d say it’s being used quite properly at least as far as roads go.
Roads don’t go that far in Kathmandu not the bitumen ones anyway. I understand with water on the surface of roads and heavy traffic the pitch as we like to call it in Kathmandu cracks and potholes develop. I have heard people say the work is substandard but it’s as likely the surface conditions predispose to breakdowns in the pitch too often. It must be expensive patching up pitch on a daily basis for a developing nation .
About the social implications of potholes: I saw a motorized three wheeler overturn and one of the passengers dragged out by passers-by in a dazed condition and taken to a hospital presumably with a serious head injury. This happened on a down slope and of course there was a pothole on the road, why else would the three wheeler have overturned? Often on the bitumen garbage lies decomposing with animals foraging in it. Everyone knows it’s unhealthy and everyone wants to blame the leaders of the nation. I believe less in leaders than in the public at large. If the general public is well educated, cultured, willing to think of others than one’s immediate relatives, leaders will spring up and lead everyone to unscaled heights.
Garbage removal in some of the developed countries goes very far in separating the constituents into different disposal containers right from the consumer’s doorstep. The person disposing garbage has to separate different types of waste into different compartments and much of this is recycled. Can this type of sieving, screening, filtering process be applied to the garbage problem in Kathmandu? Would such refining of garbage help in recycling whether by man or nature? Would we see more pathways for the garbage other than the village dump in distant district?
Kathmandu has changed a lot over the decades from when I was a child . Kathmandu is facing problems which it never dreamt of, and houses at the present a large population. Here’s wishing it the best!