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Nepal struggles to balance nature and industry

Nepal’s economic planners are proud of the fact that Nepal is now self-sufficient in cement. Indeed, domestic production has expanded greatly to meet demand that has sky-rocketed since the 2015 earthquake. The boom is seen in any drive along Nepal’s highways — the wall of every other house is painted in glaring signs of various cement companies. Nepal’s cement market is so lucrative that two Chinese joint venture companies Hongshi and Huaxin are among the biggest in the sector. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); As recently as 35 years ago there was only one cement factory, Himal Cement on the outskirts of… [...]

Ground reality of landlessness in Nepal

The first popularly elected government led by B P Koirala enacted the Birta Abolition Act in 1959, that required zamindars formerly granted land by the state to pay full tax. Feudal landlords opposed the move, and it became one of the reasons why King Mahendra ousted Koirala in a coup d’etat on 12 December 1960.  B P believed that only genuine land reform would ensure that all Nepalis prospered together, and also deflect the Communism tide. But in justifying his coup, Mahendra declared that Nepal’s first democratically elected government had to be overthrown because it had “failed to work in… [...]

Nepal backs EVs to boost hydro-electricity uptake

Photo: IVAN RADIC/FLICKR Nepalis with battery-operated vehicles can now install a separate household meter to charge their vehicles as part of a drive by the state-owned utility to boost consumption of surplus hydro-electricity from the country’s new plants. Electric vehicle (EV) owners can also opt for a larger capacity meter if the approved load for domestic use is insufficient, and the regulator is also increasing the load limit for industries, and offering additional meters for tenants on multi-storey apartments. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); A Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) board of directors meeting last week decided on a slew of measures to… [...]

Diaspora Diaries 1

Photo: PATTABI RAMAN In this new fortnightly column, Diaspora Diaries, Nepali Times provides a platform for Nepalis to share their experiences of living, working, studying abroad. Authentic and original entries can be sent to editors@nepalitimes.com with Diaspora Diaries in the subject line.  It has not even been three months since I said my goodbyes to my family, but I am already back in Nepal from Qatar. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I was promised a job in housekeeping in a five star hotel, but ended up in a construction site where they wanted me to carry around heavy stuff all day.… [...]

New election symbols

Besides defending its title as the most corrupted country in South Asia, Nepal has belatedly also been recognised in the Guinness Book as having the highest per capita number of Communist parties this side of the Sewage Canal.  However, the 50 shades of red parties has the unintended side-effect that there isn’t an electronic voter machine that has been invented yet that has enough buttons to be of any use here in local, provincial and federal elections this year. Additionally, since every party worth its salt needs a symbol, the Erection Commission has run out of them. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Popular symbols like sun, moon, tree, hammers and sickles have all… [...]

Nepal minister threatens targeted killings

Photo: MITHILA DAINIK A group of activists has strongly condemned Infrastructure and Transport Minister Renu Yadav’s incendiary remarks at a recent political event in Rautahat where she openly threatened opponents with targeted killing. During her 19 January speech, in video clips available publicly, Yadav warned a repeat of the 2007 Gaur Massacre targeting Chandra Kant Raut Chair of the Janamat Party, which has launched a Farmers’ Movement in Tarai and declared to boycott federal and provincial ministers. It also tried to obstruct her entry into Gaur on Wednesday. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); ‘We are clear that a person who cannot hold… [...]

‘Maila Baje’ is Sanjay Upadhya

This the Foreword and concluding chapter of Empowered and Imperiled: Nepal’s Peace Puzzle in Bits and Pieces in which US-based Nepali writer Sanjay Upadhya confesses that he is the Maila Baje who wrote the Nepali Netbook blog. The new book is a collection of his entries over the years. Sanjay Upadhya also wrote a column on current affairs for Nepali Times (screengrab, below) between 2001-2003 under the pen name Puskar Bhusal, which are in this paper’s online archives. It includes this piece on Sher Bahadur Deuba’s second tenure as prime minister which is as relevant today is it was in 2002: Consensus Charade. Out of the Shadows, Finally It… [...]

Freshwater dolphin comeback in Nepal

Ganges river dolphin back in Nepal’s Narayani River. Photos: TEK MAHATO. It is the best possible New Year 2022 present. A local nature guide in Nepal, Tek Mahato took several photos of a Ganges river dolphin in the Narayani River, the first time there has been photographic evidence of a dolphin in the river in years. One of the country’s four largest rivers, the Narayani crosses the border into India as Gandaki, and used to be part of the species’ traditional range, which has dwindled considerably in recent decades. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Ganges river dolphins are now rare throughout… [...]

Dance of democracy

Photo: PRADEEP RAJ ONTA As per Nepal’s Local Election Act 2017, voting for all 753 local governments must be held by 19 March. But the governing coalition that is supposed to announce poll dates has been dilly-dallying because two of its members want it postponed.  Although in a meeting of the High-level Political Mechanism on Tuesday all parties are said to have agreed to hold the local polls “on time as per the Constitution”, the Maoist Centre (MC) and the Unified Socialists (US) are still proposing a delay, even suggesting that federal elections be held first.  (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Pushpa Kamal… [...]

20 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK

Nepali Times #77 18-24 January 2022. Down, but not out This week marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of schoolteacher Muktinath Adhikari by the Maoists in Lamjung district during the peak of the insurgency — for immediately not agreeing to donate 25% of his salary to their cause. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});  “But even after two decades, there has been no justice. The perpetrators were never caught. If this is the condition of such a high profile war crime, imagine what it is like for others who are not as well known,” wrote Muktinath’s daughter Sabita Adhikari this… [...]

Kathmandu, January 25 Nepal did not improve its position in the annual Corruption Perceptions Index published by the global anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International. Neither did Nepal worsen the situation. Whereas the index revealed in January 2021 had shown Nepal in the 117th position among 180 countries, the position has remained the same this year too. Even the score of 33 also has not changed. “This can be considered as the evidence that no progress has been made in corruption control,” the organisation’s Nepal chapter informs in a press statement today. Nonetheless, the organisation has listed Nepal as a country that… [...]

Kathmandu, January 25 In a record import, Nepal Oil Corporation, the government-run fuel distribution monopoly, bought nearly 50,000 tons of liquified petroleum gas (cooking gas) in December 2021. Last month, Nepal imported 49,804 tons of LPG, and this is the biggest amount of cooking gas the country has ever imported in a month, informs the NOC spokesperson Binit Mani Upadhyaya. The amount is 4,155 tons more than the import of the previous month (November 2021), but it is 8,995 tons more than the amount received exactly a year ago (December 2020). Stakeholders have blamed the government’s apathy in promoting the… [...]

Trans fat is killing Nepalis by the score. But, people are either unaware or carefree

Two-thirds of the deaths are caused due to non-communicable diseases in Nepal. One in six such deaths is attributed to ischemic heart diseases. Herat diseases and other non-communicable diseases are attacking the younger population as well. Whereas there are sporadic concerns about such health issues, the general public apparently seems ignorant. Take the issue of trans fat, for example. This harmful substance has already been a part of the daily life of Nepalis, but most of the public are not aware of it. Public health experts see this element as responsible for several health hazards in the lives of people.… [...]

10 Newa food items that you should taste in Kathmandu

Food is one of the key components of human life. People also associate food with culture, livelihood and traditions. Of course, food plays a vital role in your day-to-day life, but a good, delicious meal also brightens your day. One such mouth-watering experience includes various Newa food items. Nepal, being a country with different cultural and ethnic diversity, offers foodies a plethora of options to taste from. Various food items from the Newa community are made for every occasion and time of the day. These items are commonly eaten combined as a set, but they are great to devour individually… [...]

Crossfire RM 250 Race Edition in Nepal: Why it’s sure to get the attention of dirt bike lovers

Crossfire RM 250 Race Edition is a flagship product offered by Classic Wheels Export and Import, the authorised distributor of Crossfire motorcycles in Nepal. Not long ago, it also introduced a budget bike, Crossfire Tracker 250, in Nepal. Crossfire has been one of the most popular names when it comes to the dirt segment. The company provides an affordable option for dirt lovers in Nepal. Known for their loud noise, style and power, Crossfire bikes have amassed a significant amount of fans here in Nepal. The RM 250, the top of Crossfire bikes in the country, is sure to get… [...]

Birgunj, January 24 Chemical fertiliser weighing 7,591 tons dumped at the Birgunj dry port for the past one and a half years has yet to be properly managed, thanks to negligence on the part of authorities. Repeated calls to the ministries of finance and agriculture and livestock to manage the fertiliser have gone unheard, it has been said. A lack of coordination among the ministries and other concerned authorities has made the matter worse, says the customs office. The fertiliser packed in sacks imported by the Salt Trading Corporation Limited (STC) and the Krishi Samagri Company Limited (KSCL) has been… [...]

Kathmandu, January 24 The Ministry of Health and Population has informed that Nepal’s Covid-19 tally has reached 1,033,626 as of Monday afternoon. The ministry said 10,319 new cases were confirmed in the country in the past 24 hours. In this period, 16,654 swab samples were tested in the RT-PCR method, of which returned 8,058 returned positive. Likewise, 4,547 people underwent antigen tests for the virus, of which an additional 2,265 tested positive. Of total tests, 48.38 per cent of the PCR and 49.81 per cent of antigen samples returned positive, keeping the overall per-day positivity rate at 48.67 per cent. As of… [...]

Kathmandu, January 24 Over 100 branches of several commercial branches across the country have been closed as of Sunday with over 6,000 staff members contracting Covid-19. Nepal Bankers’ Association, an organisation of commercial bank operators, says services at these sections have been completely halted due to the majority of staff there getting infected in the third wave of the pandemic. The organisation’s Executive Director Anil Sharma says Nabil Bank has reported the closure of the highest number of branches (19) whereas Rastriya Banijya Bank says 15 of its branches have been closed. Besides A-class commercial banks, several branches of B-class… [...]

Dang, January 24 Police in the Dang district of Lumbini have arrested a jailbird who had run away with a policeman’s motorbike from the jail around one month ago. Yam Raj Pandit, who had run away from the Ghorahi Jail on December 23, 2021, has been arrested near the Indian border recently, according to police. Pariyar was doing a time in connection with the murder case. On that day, Pariyar had asked police constable Dhan Bahadur Chaudhary to take him to a health facility for his skin treatment. As Pariyar was a leader of the jailbird, Chaudhary had believed in… [...]

Kathmandu, January 24 Nepal has been elected a member of the four UN agencies globally as of now, exhibiting its diplomatic acumen as a peace-loving, proud and independent nation. These UN agencies are the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). Nepal will work for the CEDAW for three years, CND for two years and CPD and CSTD for the whole of this year. It has already worked for… [...]

Dhangadhi, January 24 A man has allegedly killed his wife over a domestic dispute in Godawari municipality-9 of the Kailali district in Sudurpaschim on Sunday evening. Parashu Ram Rokka Magar killed his wife Bhawana yesterday, according to DSP Prabin Bista of the District Police Office. Following the incident, the suspect is on the run and police have launched a manhunt. Police have deployed a team under the command of DSP Nawaraj Pokharel, the chief of the Malakheti Area Police Office, to find the suspect and continue the investigation further. Details are awaited as the police are yet to probe the… [...]

Kathmandu, January 24 Police in Kathmandu have arrested two persons on Sunday on the charge of abducting and robbing a Patho rider that they were seeking service from. SSP Yagya Binod Pokharel, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Range in Lalitpur says Pravin Rai (25), a resident of Kathmandu, working as a Pathao rider, was abducted by his service seekers from Koteshwar of Kathmandu at around 11 pm on Sunday. “Locals in Dhapakhel of Lalitpur saw him, with his hands and legs tied, begging for help, at around 1:30 am on Sunday,” he says, “After receiving the report, the police… [...]

Karnali’s notoriety in postpartum care: Why dozens of new mothers die in remote Nepal every year

On July 2, 2021, Hastana Rokaya from Thantikandh rural municipality in Dailekh of the Karnali province gave birth to her third child before she turned 27. After constant nagging from her in-laws and husband, Rokaya, already a mother of two girls, decided to try again hoping that her newborn would be a boy. But, to her and her family’s shock, she gave birth to another girl. Like her first two times, she was sent to an impoverished shed nearby with her newborn daughter. “This is a tradition in Karnali,” says a health post official. “I don’t know if she even… [...]

Nepal’s new tattoo culture: A growing business with changing perception and rising professionalism

Embracing the urban tattoo culture, Manisha Sharma, 22, tattooed her mother’s portrait on her right arm three months ago. Sharma, who works for a social organisation, shares, “It was painful, but the pain was worth it as I always wanted to have my mother’s mark on my body.” The tattoo got complete after five hours of needling, with bloodstains on her arm. “I am thankful to tattoo artists for letting me fulfil my much-awaited desire of inking my respect towards my mother on my body.” Sharma says her mother was also elated when she saw the image although she was… [...]

Realme 9i coming to Nepal soon: Why it’s sure to be a pick in the budget category

Realme 9i has been announced as the latest addition to the Realme smartphone series. The phone was officially released in India on January 18 and it will be soon available in Nepal. The last year (2021) saw a huge rise in Realme’s market coverage and sales in Nepal. This is all thanks to its latest releases. In 2021, Realme launched a variety of smartphones in the market in different price categories. It launched budget phones like C25Y, C21Y, Narzo series, and low-end mid-range like Realme 8i as well as premium mid-range GT Neo 2, which was probably the best smartphone… [...]