Amayoral candidate in the last elections asked voters not to be worried about the condition of what are euphemistically referred to as “roads” in the capital because Kathmandu was soon going to have a monorail, an elevated highway from Tundikhel to Lagankhel, an underground rapid transit, and he was going to turn Kathmandu Metropalika into a “smart city”. Not to be outdone, a rival candidate promised that Kathmandu would not just be smart, it would be a total genius with an IQ of not less than 150.
We must thank the four-time PM for making the clever move to instruct the PMO to instruct the Secretary at the Ministry of Metaphysical Planning and Highway Robbery to instruct the Department of Roads to instruct its contractor to instruct the sub-contractors to order the construction workers to patch the holes on the streets in 15 days. That chain of command was what the city needed to be street smart.
The military precision has meant that five meteorite impact craters in the newly-paved roads in Pulchok were filled after the Primary Minister’s order was handed down in Chinese whispers to the repair crew. It is a dramatic illustration of the adage that two birds killed with one stone in the bush are worth more than a live one in the hand, that the five potholes were all filled with garbage and turned into speed breakers overnight. Three of them have since reverted back to being potholes again with the onset of the monsoon rains. But, hey, look at the bright side: five minus three is two. That still leaves us with fewer potholes in Patan than previously. The naysayers will of course point out that there are 2.3 million other ash-holes inside the Ring Road, but you can never please these negative nabobs.
While we are all waiting for the mayors to be more asstute, there are a few things us citizens can do on our own to to give us a head start when, and if, Kathmandu ever becomes a highly intelligent organism. The Valley’s mayors have already fulfilled their election pledge to turn the capital into a smart city by having:
Smart Phones: Mobiles so wise they relay your geo-location to intelligent agencies.
Smart Toilets: The Municipality has designated some pot holes as outdoor loos where citizens can attend to calls from nature and openly defecate to help fill the cavities with compost.
Smart Cattle: Kathmandu Metropolitan City has deployed clever cows to serve as bovine traffic islands as well as to eat plastic and keep Kathmandu clean and green.
Smarty Pants: This Assan tailor is contributing in his own way to make Kathmandu a smart city.
Smart Traffic Lights: These haven’t worked since the Japanese installed them at major intersections 10 years ago, saving the gubberment billions in electricity bills.
Smart Airport: An NRN cleaned up the toilets, but forgot the cesspool in the immigration desk that harasses single women travellers.
Smart Parliament: Kleptocrats in the Public Accounts Committee have found ingenious new ways to punish Cool Man to ensure resumption of load-shedding in winter.
Smart Ass: That’s me.