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Preps begin for Modi’s visit starting May 11

    ANIL GIRI, Apr 24 2018
    Post Photo
    Reciprocating high-level visits from Nepal and aiming to reset ties with Kathmandu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving here on May 11, his third time after taking office in 2014.
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    Nepal on course to reap record cereal harvest

      SANGAM PRASAIN, Apr 24 2018

      Nepal’s 2017-18 grain harvest is expected to hit a record high despite a projected fall in paddy output. According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the country’s paddy, maize, wheat, millet, buckwheat and barley output is projected to grow 2.43 percent to 10 million tonnes this fiscal year ending mid-July.

      The bumper cereal harvest could give the country a food surplus of nearly 1 million tonne, according to ministry officials.

      Nepal produced 237,620 tonnes more food grain compared to the last fiscal year. “This fiscal year is ending with the largest ever food grain harvest in history,” said Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary at the ministry.

      “Although the cereal acreage has been decreasing, production has swelled due to higher productivity,” he said.

      The statistics show that cereal crops were grown on 3.42 million hectares this fiscal year, down 2.53 percent. This means 89,331 hectares of land were left fallow. The paddy acreage dropped to 1.46 million hectares this fiscal year from 1.55 million hectares in the last fiscal year.  

      However, commercial farming techniques and mechanization has helped boost productivity resulting in higher output despite a drop in acreage. Improved farm technology, seed varieties and better pest and weed management, among other factors, influenced the agriculture sector lately, said GC.

      Good monsoon rains were the single biggest factor leading to agriculture growth. “No doubt, if the rains are good, the yield improves,” said GC. For the next fiscal year, the government has planned on an irrigation-focused paddy production programme, he said.

      “Currently, we have 15 different irrigation projects, and our plan is to focus on paddy production programmes in these areas where round-the-year irrigation facility is available,” said GC.

      The government will be focusing on paddy production programmes in regions served by irrigation systems like the Sharada in Kailali; Bagmati Multipurpose in Bara, Rautahat and Sarlahi; Kanchan Danav Rupandehi; Kankai Jhapa; Sikta Banke; Koshi, Saptari; Gandak, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Nawalparasi; Babai Bardia; Marchawar Rupandehi; Eastern Rapti, Chitwan and Sunsari.

      “By adopting this strategy, we aim to increase paddy production by 5 percent from the existing 5.15 million tonnes provided there is normal rainfall this year,” said GC. 

      Nepal is likely to witness a ‘normal’ monsoon this year, according to the consensus statement of the 12th session of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (Sascof) released on Friday. The monsoon rains which last from June to September are synonymous with higher agricultural yields as two-thirds of the country’s cultivable land lack round-the-year irrigation facility.

      Nepal’s paddy output this fiscal year is expected to amount to 5.15 million tonnes, down 1.49 percent from the 2016-17 bumper harvest, mostly on account of the August floods in the southern Tarai plains, the Ministry of Agricultural Development said. Besides paddy, the production of buckwheat and barley has also decreased this fiscal year.

      However, maize output is expected to hit an all-time high of 2.55 million tonnes this fiscal year with growers embracing commercial farming techniques to fulfill swelling demand from the feed industry.

      Maize yields, the second largest crop after paddy, are expected to increase to a record 2.67 tonnes per hectare, up 6 percent from last year.

      Likewise, winter wheat output is expected to hit a three-year high of 1.94 million tonnes, making it the second biggest wheat harvest in the country’s history despite a prolonged winter drought. The estimated winter wheat output this fiscal year is 5 percent higher than in 2016-17.  

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      B’desh-India-Nepal bus trial run

      Post Report, Kathmandu, Apr 24 2018
      Two buses leave Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) International Depot, Motijheel in Dhaka, with delegates of Bangladesh, Nepal and India during the trial run of the tri-nation bus service on Monday. BRTC Chairman Fariduddin Ahmed is leading the 80-man delegation that will be scrutinising all the aspects of the service in detail. Daily Star
      A trial bus service on the Bangladesh-India-Nepal route has been flagged off, in a major development in transport across the three countries.Two buses carrying 80 delegates from the three nations led by Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation Chairman Fariduddin Ahmed left the BRTC international depot in Motijheel, Dhaka, on Monday morning, according to Bangladeshi media.

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      Bardiya National Park fails to combat fire

      KAMAL PANTHI, BARDIYA, Apr 24 2018
      A bushfire rages inside Bardiya National Park.ASHOK BHANDARI
      Bardiya National Park (BNP) authority admitted on Monday their failure to douse fire raging in the park since the last three weeks.Park officials said they could not douse the fire despite the best efforts of security staff, employees and residents.

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      Main News

      Maoist Centre to strengthen party units

      Post Report, Apr 24 2018
      As the unification process of the two major left parties appears to have lost steam, the CPN (Maoist Centre) has decided to shore up its existing structures.
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      Traffic police officer throws acid on woman

      RAMESH KUMAR PAUDEL, Apr 24 2018
      Ratnanagar police have arrested a traffic police officer in Chitwan district for stalking and throwing acid on a married woman he desperately wanted to marry.Sub-Inspector (SI) Ramchandra Khaniya, posted at temporary traffic police post in Ratnanagar, threw acid on Kalpana Shrestha, 28, in Bharatpur Metropolitan City-10 on Sunday.
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      Leaders’ absence delays RJP-Nepal meeting

      Post Report, Apr 24 2018
      The absence of two major leaders has further delayed Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) selecting its parliamentary party office bearers.Co-ordinator of the six-member presidium Mahantha Thakur and one of its six leaders Mahendra Raya Yadav are currently receiving medical treatment in New Delhi.
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      Money

      World

      At least 21 revellers were killed en route to a wedding when their truck flew off a bridge, police said Wednesday, the latest horrific crash on India’s accident-prone roads, AFP reported.

      The truck, carrying more than 40 passengers, smashed through a protective railing in central Madhya Pradesh state late Tuesday and plunged nearly 20 metres to a dry river-bed below.

      Police in Sidhi district said 21 people were injured, most of them critically, in the accident some 560 kilometres from the state capital Bhopal.

      “Several teams of police and emergency services were rushed to rescue the injured. Most of the injured were in a critical condition,” local police officer Vishal Sharma told AFP.

      The immediate cause of the accident was unknown but Sharma said the driver was likely speeding.

      India has some of the world’s deadliest roads with more than 200,000 fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organisation.

      Last week, at least 30 people, including 27 children, were killed in northern Himachal Pradesh state when a school bus plunged off a cliff.

      The next day, 18 people were killed when a truck packed with labourers overturned on a highway in western India.

      Most accidents are blamed on poor roads, badly-maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

      Commercial drivers are largely unregulated, meaning many work long hours through the night, raising the danger of them falling asleep at the wheel, campaigners say.

       

      A well-known gay rights lawyer and environmental advocate burned himself to death in New York City on Saturday in a grisly protest against ecological destruction, the Associated Press reported.

      The charred remains of 60-year-old David Buckel were found by passers-by in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Police said he was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m.

      The Daily News reports that Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near his body that said he hoped his death was "honorable" and "might serve others."

      The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of the note, which also said, "Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."

      Buckel was the lead attorney in in a lawsuit involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Teena in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry."

      Buckel also served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBT rights, where he was the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.

      Susan Sommer, a former Lambda Legal attorney who is now the general counsel for the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, told the Times that Buckel "was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human."

      Continue reading the main story

      Sommer added, "He was a very smart and methodical lawyer. He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory."

       

      Entertainment

      Sports

      The Election Committee of the All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) on Sunday set May 5 as the date for the executive committee election of the football governing body.

      However the date is set on a condition that Patan High Court vacates the writ petition filed by Bhaktapur District Football Association president Gautam Sukhaju and Makawanpur District Football Association vice president Manish Shrestha. Acting on the petitions the court on March 22 had issued a stay order to put the March 28 Anfa election on hold. The duo had stated in that Anfa had violated their rights to participate in the election.

      But after the court verdict, Anfa conducted the election of Bhaktapur FA on April 10 and Makawanpur FA on April 6. As ordered Anfa also furnished a written reply to the Patan High Court and submitted an application to vacate the writ petition of the duo. Anfa in its reply to the court had said that the demands of those FAs have been fulfilled as it ensures their participation in the election.  

      “The election committee meeting on Sunday decided to request the Anfa secretariat to hold the election on May 5,” said a notice of the Anfa Election Committee. “As elections of those two concerned district FAs have already been conducted and the names of the representative also finalised, we reached the conclusion to set the election date in a condition that Patan High Court lifts its previous order,” reads the statement.

      Anfa election was originally set for January 25 but has since been postponed four times on various pretext in the last four months, the last of which was put off indefinitely on March 22 due to the court stay order. The next hearing on the Anfa case is on Wednesday.

       

       

      Health & Style

      Fiction Park

      Any given Saturday

      Abha Dhital, Apr 22 2018
      He sees a two-wheeler pass by every thirty minutes or so, but that’s all the noise there is. He likes it this way. He likes quiet days, even when it’s particularly harmful for the business
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      Escalate

      BRAND AND CUSTOMER: The perfect pair

      Apr 23 2018
      Ahmed Dulla says he was never a bright student and once thought that becoming taxi driver would be his highest aspiration in life. Then, by happenstance, he stumbled upon footwear technology on the internet and enrolled into Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) in India. There on, he worked for several renowned international brands, such as Aldo and Zara, before returning to Kathmandu in 2012 to launch his own brand—Dulla Shoes.
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      Saturday Features

      Words have power, everybody should get their share

      Bhairab Risal, the 90-year-old veteran journalist, critic and activist, is a humble man. Even when you are seated in his living room, looking at the many framed awards that cover two adjacent walls, he doesn’t really entertain the idea of talking about them.

      Make our schools great again!

      Guffadi
      Let us congratulate our Chief Minister (CM) of Province 7 Trilochan Bhatta for enrolling his kid in a community school. Finally, we have a politician who thinks his kid is better off studying in a community school than in expensive private schools. We hope our politicians and civil servants will also learn a thing or two from CM Bhatta. It’s about time our thulo mancheys worked together to make our community schools great again.

      The spirit of service

      MOHAN GURAGAIN
      A few names stand out in the public service sector. The Bagmati Clean-up Campaign spearheaded by then-chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal, who is currently Nepal’s ambassador to China, maintains its spirit even in his absence. Whenever there is chaos on the road, people remember Sitaram Hachhethu, the tough traffic cop. Kulman Ghishing lit up Nepalis’ faces by lifting the veil of endemic ‘load-shedding’.

      A house of my own

      Prateebha Tuladhar
      I didn’t sleep very well last night. My feet felt like a furnace and there were pins and needles on my back. I tossed and turned until I fell asleep again. I had fever dreams— they were fragments of our Mahankal home. It left me wondering why we’ve never had a conversation about that house. After all, it is where you began to take shape inside Mamu. It’s a different story that we’d moved by the time you arrived, and no one ever thought of visiting the place again.

      Gatlang in transition

      Utsav Shakya
      Mornings in Gatlang, Rasuwa are deceivingly quiet. One minute it seems eerily still, the next it is full of activity.

      Scratching the surface

      Sandesh Ghimire
      In this decade of tenuous post-insurgency ‘peace’, several attempts have been made through literature, films, theatre and academic research to explore the impact of the ‘People’s War’ on Nepal. Given that a long period of time has not passed since the end of the war; given that the transitional justice issues have not been addressed and that the memories still linger fresh in the national psyche, there is no definitive view on how the civil war shaped the fabric of Nepali society. No doubt, eventually, a definitive narrative will emerge; but in the meantime, productions like Sakhi, for better or worse, will continue to add and shape perspectives.

      The luxury of time

      Yukta Bajracharya
      t is about seven in the evening and we’re wrapping up our five-day spoken word poetry workshop with a group of women from and around the Lumbini Sanskritik Municipality. The usual restlessness to get home without it being ‘too late’ in the evening has been stalled for tonight; it is our last session together and we are walking back from the evening’s workshop, discussing family, husbands, friendship, writing and the poetry performance that is lined up the day after.

      Khokana’s Kols

      Prawash Gautam
      He is walking along a trail cutting through vast farmlands, his mind set on the long journey ahead. He is focused. It has already been an arduous morning and the kharpan balanced precariously on his shoulder is getting heavier by the hour.

      Viplavi

      Sanjit Bhakta Pradhananga
      It is nearly 5 pm and the cloistered neighbourhood of Nhaikantala in Asan feels exhausted from a hectic day of shoppers streaming in and out of its jewellery and electronic stores.