5-11 July 2013 #663

Road to nowhere

SONAM LAMA

Across Nepal, surveyors are leaving red markings like this one in the remote Tsum Valley on rocks for soon-to-come roads. The alignments do not respect cultural heritage, environmental factors or important trekking routes that provide incomes to thousands.

Indiscriminate highway-building is causing enormous collateral damage to Nepal’s culture, nature, and economy. Driven by greed and graft, roads are being built where one already exists and even if it would end up destroying an area’s culture and tourism prospects. If the Tsum road goes ahead, locals insist on an alternative alignment that protects their holy sites and a vital trekking route.

Sonam Lama in Tsum Valley

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