By now air accidents have become commonplace in the Nepali aviation sector. The latest one was when an ill-fated Sita Air Dornier aircraft crashed early Friday morning soon after take off killing all the 19 people on board. The tragic accident is presumed to have been caused when the plane hit an eagle soon after take off. The plane crashed near the Manohara River just 500 meters away from the Tribhuvan International Airport. The list of air accidents are disturbingly far too many making the skies of the country among the most dangerous in the world. This is indeed something that needs to be dealt with to make flying safe in the country. The accidents are mostly caused by human error, technical problems and even the weather. The latest accident has so far been blamed due to the aircraft hitting a bird within minutes after taking off. The pilot of the plane was an experienced hand and competent, and it is believed he had tried to avoid human settlements on the banks of the Manohara River. The plane had crashed within 100 meters of the squatters’ settlement and nosedived after making unusual movements, according to eye witnesses.
The frequent aircraft accidents that have taken a heavy toll of human lives is indeed a matter of concern. The Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, and other related bodies, are entrusted to ensure that travelling by air is safe in the country. However, these agencies have failed to curb the frequent accidents. According to the figures of the accidents, there have been 44 air crashes since 1946, and 31 of them have been fatal in which 683 people were killed. It is with much trepidation that people venture to travel by air here. There should be no compromising in the air safety standards. The aircraft should be checked thoroughly to ascertain that they are airworthy. The flying crew should also be qualified and competent. It is believed that flying is difficult here because of its rugged terrain. Nepalese pilots are believed to be skillful which have also won them acclaim worldwide, because they have to fly in very difficult trying conditions.
In the latest accident, three crew members, all of whom were Nepalese, and four Nepalese passengers, seven Britons and five Chinese met with tragic untimely demise. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the near and dear ones and family of the bereaved. Apparently, after the plane crashed it took a long time for the rescue teams to reach the crash site. The fire brigade could reach the plane after only about an hour and by then it was too late to save those in the plane. This crash is the second fatal one in Nepal in five months, and sixth in the last two years. Certainly, these figures are alarming showing that air safety is still not being taken up seriously. Merely forming commissions to investigate the causes of the crashes is not enough. The recommendations made by such commissions should be followed in order to avert more accidents in the future. Certainly, the frequent air crashes in Nepal is not working in favour of air travel in the country, and is giving it a bad name.
It is almost two weeks that the government came up with the maximum retail price (MRP) provision, but there has been no visible change in the actual market scenario. The consumers have only the government announcement to think about, while the entrepreneurs go along with their business as usual. The implementation aspect as in numerous other cases is nowhere to be seen. This has been a mere populist move without in any way taking into account the capacity of the government bodies to implement the official decision. This seems to be one more deception played by the government.
Despite knowing its inability to implement the MRP provision, it went ahead. The announcement was to the delight of the consumers harassed by the ever-rising prices of almost every commodity in the market. Herein, it would be fitting to ask if the mere MRP announcement would make all the retailers follow it. The answer would be in a negative as without the necessary supervision and monitoring, nothing is going to take place in the real sense. With the festival season here, the government ought to brush up its acts in the interest of the consumers.