Life is all about finding your passion and driving towards it. I love to walk now. As a kid, I never liked it. I wanted my parents to buy a car. Complained and sulked every time we had to walk around Kathmandu. The only automobiles that I have travelled in Kathmandu are the public transportation vehicles. It has been several years since then. I am shocked by the close proximity of the growth of my wisdom tooth and my ability to understand matters.
Baneshwor is my second home town after Mahankal. I have seen this place turn into one of the busiest places in Kathmandu. Initially it started off with different colleges and educational consultancies. It was decided; they made Baneshwor a hub for students. This was followed by few shopping malls and banks. When a town grows into a super town, serious repercussions are likely to be seen.
The old aged people and the young ones are the susceptible ones. Add some predisposing factors like smoking and genetic susceptibilities. These individuals are likely to be the ones to be hit by the growing super town.
Possible predictions for the next ten years in a super town are very grim health wise. More respiratory tract symptoms will be evident in people who live around the busy road. Diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Bronchial Asthma, and Chronic Bronchitis are more likely to be seen in them. Smoking associated with constant presence of polluted atmosphere more likely will lead to lung cancer. Other symptoms that are more likely to be seen by noise pollution are loss of concentration, irritability and fatigue. Zero pin drop silence is never possible, even in the night when the volume of vehicles decreases, the stray dogs make a good attempt, to produce noise as it was in the day time.
The maximum amount of pollution that one consumes is in the office hours when roads get blocked by all form of vehicles. The Noise pollution not only creates fatigue but it decreases work capacity as well. Talk about sexual frustration, recent news suggests that infertility cases are at rise in Nepal and one of the reasons why they can’t conceive is due to anxiety and frustration.
Everyone wants to get their own transport available. Ask a young fellow in the road why he bought a bike, he replies “I like to take my girlfriend around”. When the young college goers decide to buy a bike just because of peer pressure it’s likely the number of vehicles in the city will robustly increase. “Have you heard about the bank loans that they give for cars these days?” says an aunt; she recently bought a car through that route.
Let’s get serious about it. Organize an awareness campaign. If possible, demonstrate the implications of the pollution that is slowly crippling the city. The community has to raise this issue to the municipality. Monitor the pollution; it’s possible by several devices that measure the amount of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. Keep a health track of the people who visit the hospitals and clinics around the busy roads. A comparative study from then to now can actually make people understand. Restricting roads for automobiles and making them eco friendly by only offering walking and cycling serves the problem to a certain extent. People who have predicated the future have started to wear masks and cover the faces by scarfs.
I am not a permanent settler in Nepal but every time I try to keep my cardio-reparatory exercise in routine, I fail terribly. I do not have enough money to own a personal gym space in my own home, so I have no other option but to walk around the city and inhale pollutants . But it’s high time the Nepalese people addressed this issue and take necessary intervention before it’s too late. When will the people be health wise?