India bans herb import from Nepal

    Post Report, Apr 18 2019
    Post file photo
    For the past month, India has been strictly enforcing its prohibition of the importing of medicinal herbs from Nepalgunj into its borders, and this has severely affected local businesses.
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    ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Thursday, April 18

      Post Report, Apr 18 2019
      Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (April 18, 2019).
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      Autism Awareness: Artist Kirtanraw lets his art do the talking

      • With his very own home-based gallery, the artist has a conducive environment to express himself creatively
      DINESH KUMAR MAGANATHAN, Apr 18 2019
      It was unlike any other day in Kirtanraw Subramanian’s life. He was 16 and his father had just been informed by his school that he needed to be transferred out.
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      828 MW Uttar Ganga hydro project revived after 7 years

        PRAHLAD RIJAL, Apr 18 2019

        The Uttar Ganga Power Company, a subsidiary of Nepal Electricity Authority, has invited expression of interest for consulting services to prepare detailed engineering design and bidding documents for the 828 megawatt Uttar Ganga Storage Hydroelectric Project in Baglung.

        The Rs130 billion project has been revived after seven years. It had been bogged down by conflict of interest by political leaders.

        The project had failed to progress because of heated disputes on inter-basin diversion of water from the reservoir-type hydropower plant to be constructed by collecting water from the Uttar Ganga stream of Dhorpatan and other surrounding streams.

        A reliable source close to the project said that conflict of interests between former Energy Minister Janardan Sharma, then leader of Maoist (Centre) and former Finance Minister and CPN-UML leader Bishnu Poudel had halted the project. While Sharma wanted diversion of water to the Bheri River, Poudel wanted diversion to the Gandaki basin. “Demands by these powerful party leaders put the project in a state of uncertainty,” the source said.

        “Following multiple meetings between now unified Nepal Communist Party leaders, including co-chairs KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Gokarna Bista, the issue seems to be resolved now,” the source said. “A consensus has been reached to divert water to Gandaki basin that was proposed by Nepal Electricity Authority, which was also proposed by Poudel.”

        Diverting water to the Gandaki basin is technically and financially feasible when it comes to generating optimum energy from the project, the source said. According to project officials, they are in the final stages of preparing the feasibility study and have initiated the process to hire consultants after getting financial guarantee from the government.

        The objective of the consulting service is to review the feasibility study, including the detailed engineering design to prepare the documents before inviting the bids. “We have planned to appoint the consultant within six to nine months,” said Ambikesh Kumar Jha, chief of the project. During the announcement of Electricity Development Decade 2016-2026, the government had included Uttar Ganga Hydroelectric among the 11 storage hydroelectricity projects. The government plans to generate 5,000 MW within a decade.

        According to Jha, the consultants are expected to finish preparing the detailed design, tender drawing, construction planning and also draw up bidding documents including civil, hydro-mechanical, electro-mechanical and transmission lines within 18 months of their appointment.

        “The estimated cost of the project stands at Rs130 billion. The estimate, however, can be revised after the consultants prepare the detailed engineering design of the project,” Jha said. The final deadline for submission of expression of interest has been set for May 12 and the consulting firm is expected to be appointed by October.

        As per a preliminary study, the hydroelectricity plant situated at Baglung will be able to generate power five hours a day in the dry season that normally begins from November and lasts until April. For water storage and evacuation, the project is expected to build a 200 metre high dam and a 1.1 km long diversion tunnel.

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        Government to promote value-added gem exports

        RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu, Apr 18 2019
        Nepal has deposits of aquamarine gemstone, a type of blue beryl as per the records of the Department of Mines and Geology.PHOTO COURTESY: WIKIPEDIA
        Nepal is losing out on a large amount of export revenue due to lack of value-added gem exports, said officials of the Department of Mines and Geology.

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        Nepal’s first ever satellite launched into space

        NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu, Apr 18 2019
        Photo courtesy: KP Sharma Oli Twitter/ @kpsharmaoli
        Nepal’s first satellite, ‘NepaliSat-1’, has been launched into space, which will soon start rotating around the earth’s orbit to collect information about the country’s topography and earth’s magnetic field. Meanwhile, officials said, the satellite itself will also be studied for developing more advanced satellites in the future.

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        Main News

        Construction of runway completed at Pokhara international airport

        SANGAM PRASAIN, Apr 18 2019
        The runway at the international airport being constructed in Pokhara has been completed two years after the project launched, raising hopes that the infrastructure will be ready before schedule.
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        Province 3: Proposal for amendment of bill regarding birth registration

        Post Report, Apr 18 2019
        A parliamentary committee has submitted a report at the Province-3 Assembly, proposing to amend a bill regarding the birth registration of children.
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        Raksirang Rural Municipality’s new policy to boost school enrolment

        PRATAP BISTA, Apr 18 2019
        Raksirang Rural Municipality in Makwanpur district has decided to cut off services and facilities to those families who fail to admit their school-going children to school.
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        Money

        World

        Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua have killed at least 58 people, injured dozens and displaced more than 4,000, authorities said on Sunday.

        A search for more possible victims was under way in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late on Saturday. Fifty-one people were killed and 74 injured there, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency, told a news briefing.

        Heavy rain caused landslides in the nearby provincial capital of Jayapura, killing seven there, Nugroho said.

        Soldiers pulled alive a 5-month old baby from under the rubble of his house and took him to hospital, Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said.

        The number of victims “will probably increase because the evacuation process is still taking place and not all affected areas have been reached,” Nugroho said.

        About 4,150 people are sheltering in six evacuation centers, he said.

        Hundreds of houses, three bridges and a Twin Otter airplane parked at the airport were damaged by the floods. The Sentani airport, the province’s main transport hub, remained open.

        TV footage showed mud and large logs on Sentani’s main roads after floodwaters receded.

        Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town, Nugroho said, adding that in 2018 Jakarta sent seedlings intended for tree-planting.

        “Forest destruction in the Cyclops mountains have increased for use as firewood and to turn the land into plantations,” Nugroho said.

        “Since 2018 we have warned the Jayapura government to be careful of flash flood risks because of this deforestation,” he added.

        Arts and Entertainment

        Technology

        Nepal’s first ever satellite launched into space

        NAYAK PAUDEL, Apr 18 2019
        Nepal’s first satellite, ‘NepaliSat-1’, has been launched into space, which will soon start rotating around the earth’s orbit to collect information about the country’s topography and earth’s magnetic field. Meanwhile, officials said, the satellite itself will also be studied for developing more advanced satellites in the future.
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        Sports

        Defending champions Nepal on Wednesday announced a 14-member squad for the ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament slated for April 20-28 in Chaingmai,  Thailand.

        Bishal Bikram KC will lead the Nepali team that also include Asish Bhattarai,  Prashant Mahat, Arjun Kumal, Deepak Bohara, Suwash Ayer, Nikhil Kumar Singh,  Bishal Kumar Patel, Krish Karki, Tilak Raj Bhandari, Ramesh Kurmi, Rohan  Dudhraj BK and Prashant Singh Shushant Thapa. Abhishek Gautam, Parshuram Yadav,  Arbaaz Ansari and Bibek Darasi were named in the reserve pool. Basant Shahi is  the team coach and Sudeep Sharma the manager. Physiotherapist Dinesh Bhatta  will also accompany the team, which departs to Thailand on Thursday.
        Nepal are pitted in Group ‘A’ with Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Bhutan are in Group ‘B’. Nepal open their title defence with a match against Myanmar on April 20 before taking on Malaysia on April 24 and Thailand the next day. Top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semi-finals.
        Nepal clinched the ACC U-16 Eastern Region title defeating Singapore by 71 runs on December 17, 2017. Rit Gautam also became the first Nepali cricketer to hit a century at the  ACC U-16 tournament when he scored an unbeaten 106 against Myanmar  during the league stage on December 14, 2017.

        Squad

        Bishal Bikram KC (captain), Asish Bhattarai, Prashant Mahat, Arjun Kumal, Deepak Bohara, Suwash Ayer, Nikhil Kumar Singh, Bishal Kumar Patel, Krish Karki, Tilak Raj Bhandari, Ramesh Kurmi, Rohan Dudhraj BK, Prashant Singh, Shushant Thapa.

        Nepal’s U-19 women’s football team is leaving for China on Wednesday to fine tune their preparations for the second round Qualifier of AFC U-19 Championship scheduled for April 26-30 in Mandaly, Myanmar.

        Nepal are drawn with Australia, Uzbekistan and hosts Myanmar in the Group ‘A’ which sends the winners and runners-up to the finals scheduled for October. The other group consists of Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Lebanon. Nepal will play two friendly matches with age-group teams in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, besides holding training camp there. The team will leave for Myanmar from China on March 23, informed the All Nepal Football Association.
        Nepali team boasts six senior players including second-choice goalkeeper Anjana Rana Magar and another keeper Usha Nath. Defender Puja Rana Magar, midfielder Saru Limbu and forwards Manjali Kumari Yonjan and Rekha Paudel are the other members of the team. Hari Om Shrestha is the head coach and Prakash Baidhya his assistant. Ashmita Khawas is the goalkeeping coach and Jamuna Gurung is team manager.   
        Nepal will play against Australia on April 26, Uzbekistan on April 28 before wrapping up their campaign against hosts Vietnam on April 30. Nepal had qualified for the second round as the Group ‘B’ runners-up in the first round held in Thailand in October last year. After losing to Thailand 3-0 in their first match, Nepal had defeated India 2-0 and Pakistan 9-0.
        Despite tying on equal six points with the hosts Thailand and India, Thailand finished on top by virtue of scoring the highest three goals among the teams tied on six points. Nepal finished second thanks to the same rule with two goals to their credit.

        Life & Style

        Fiction Park

        Kha-leh Shu

        Eric Crockett, Apr 14 2019
        She passed below going to milk the cow as I came up the rickety metal stair to the top floor of the village guest house and I grinned and waved. She grinned back, shy and surprised. The forested hillside rose behind where monks lived alone in stone huts below the snow crusted ridge.
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        Saturday Features

        Internet cafés or ‘wangbas’ in China create a space for internet addicts

        Tripty Tamang Pakhrin
        Internet cafés in China have created a new space where people lose themselves within the virtual world of online gaming--a chance to explore an experimental world without any impediment.

        'Nepalis come across a huge wall that divides one part of the world from another'

        Avasna Pandey
        The presence of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the helm has only made things worse. These people are bent on hardening borders, rather than dissolving them.

        The beatmaker

        ABANI MALLA
        On a cold and rainy winter’s day, 19-year-old Sagun Khadka sits at a cafe in Jhamsikhel, listening to hip-hop on his headphones.

        Shreesha Bhandari’s Athot deserves to be read by young people seeking guidance

        MOHAN GURAGAIN
        Without failing to shed light on the importance of time, Athot stresses that what we failed to do in our lives are not less important than what we actually did. 

        Guffadi: Our Oli government is not a communist but a truly wild capitalist party

        Guffadi
        Once again, let us congratulate our Oli government for passing the Medical Mafia Bill. Now, Dr KC should go home and rest.

        Celebrating a century

        Prakash Chandra Timilsena
        Calmly seated in a chariot pulled by her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, Mayju Maharjan observes her fifth janko—a rare ritual, called Mahadivya Ratharohan, where an elder is celebrated for completing 108 years, eight months, eight days, eight hours, and eight seconds around the sun. 

        The paper trail

        Prakash Chandra Timilsena
        In 1995, 50-year-old Nima Sherpa moved from Dolakha to Kathmandu with a plan—he was going to take traditional Nepali lokta paper to the world. Sherpa had realised that products made of lokta, which were easily available in his village, could make it big in the international market.

        Life and art are inextricably blended into each other

        Timothy Aryal
        Mekh Limbu’s art needs little elaboration. It speaks the truth, laid out for all to see and reflect on. It’s real; it’s quiet, keening and sharp. Take his installation ‘How I Forgot My Mother Tongue’, for instance, which was part of the Opposite Dreams exhibition displayed during the Photo Kathmandu festival last year.

        Raamesh Koirala’s book about Charles Sobhraj is confused, leaving the reader unsure of whether this is a memoir or a novel

        Pranaya SJB Rana
        Raamesh Koirala’s new book about the notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj is a strange animal. Although ostensibly presented as a non-fiction memoir written by the cardiac surgeon who operated on Sobhraj’s heart, the copyright page of the book asserts that “This is a work of fiction.” Perhaps this was an (glaring) oversight on the part of the publisher, but given the manner in which the book unfolds, it might be an accurate characterisation.