A Tale of Two Cities: Kathmandu and Delhi

In Kathmandu, things are a bit chaotic for its size.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

Dharahara, Kathmandu is mostly surrounded by chaos

So how’s Delhi?” many of my friends asked me when I was in Kathmandu recently.

I had stayed away from Kathmandu and lived in Delhi for a year.

The question expected two different answers: Some wanted to know about city life while others were interested in the political happenings in the Indian capital vis-à-vis the Nepali situation. Some had asked out of curiosity while others for formality. The conversations inevitably moved towards comparison. Some said “Delhi ma ta ramro hola hai?” (It must be good in Delhi, no?) citing things gone disappointingly bad in Kathmandu.

Delhi isn’t a great city of the world that is vastly different from Kathmandu. The only major difference is that the Indian capital is, to some extent, cared for by its government and citizens. It is well served. The government is pouring money into the city to build infrastructure. Apart from creating the “world class” metro rail system, they are making flyovers to free the roads from traffic congestion, paving roads and constructing stadiums to host games of international importance. A new flyover was scheduled to be inaugurated this week on the outer ring road of Delhi (Kathmandu has been only talking about the outer ring road for years). Delhi is gearing up at war pace to host the Commonwealth Games next year. Apart from the developmental activities, a general sense of order and discipline prevails in Delhi though incidents of crime, some of them horrifying, do occur. Continue reading

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