Nepal Today

Friday, December 30, 2011

MAOIST CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEET POSTPONED

MAOIST CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEET POSTPONED
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Scheduled heated discussions in the Maoist
central committee for the third consecutive day was postponed until
Sunday following the death Saturday night of the mother of Secretary CP Gajurel who is being cremated at Pashupatinath Aryaghat.
Maoist woman leader Tara Neupane is also being cremated Saturday following her death.
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MAOIST DISQUALIFIED FIGHTERS CLOSE DOWN DISTRICS
IN THE WEST
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: Fighters disqualified by UNMIN which abruptly left 15 January without completing the peace process Saturday closed down districts in the West after closures of the far-West and mid-West districts Thursday and Friday.
Altogether 4,007 fighters were disqualified by the political arms of the uN in Nepal without completing the peace process.
The former fighters have announced a general strike 5 January to
press demands charging they were disgracefully forced out of
cantonments and satellite camps three years ago.
The former fighters demand the disqualified tag should be removed
and they should be treated hoourably.
The former fighters are also demanding transparency of funds
provided by UN at a time when the party they fought for in involved
in a deep ideological intra-party dispute with a hard-line faction opposing integration of 19,000 plus former fighters in state security agencies without completing a peace process.
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MINIMUM TEMPERARE RECODED 1.5 DEGREES CELSIUS

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: The minimum temperature recorded in the last
24 hours in the capital was 1.5 degrees Celsius.

THREE BANKS ASK NRB TO LIFT RESTRICTION KRISHI PREMURA

Kathmandu, 31 Dec.:Three banks that have lent to Krishi Premura Properties, whose promoter Rakesh Adukiya has been charged with banking fraud, have asked the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to lift the ban on the sale of the company’s property after it committed to clear the liabilities, Prithvi Man Shrestha writes in The Kathmandu Post reports.
Under a loose consortium, the company had borrowed Rs 270 million (Rs 90 million each) from Sunrise Bank, Bank of Asia Nepal (BoA) and Prime Commercial Bank to build JSB Financial Tower, a business complex, in Kamaladi, Kathmandu.
After Adukiya’s alleged involvement in the embezzlement of funds at Gurkha Development Bank, the central bank has frozen property registered in his and his firms’ names. As per the law, the central bank can allow borrowers to sell collateral to repay loans.
The banks had been planning to auction the company’s land at Kamaladi that was put up as collateral. But they decided to request NRB to lift the property sale ban after Krishi Premura requested them to halt the auction process, saying that it has signed an agreement with a company based in Belize, South America, for the sale of the property.
“Krishi Premura came up with the documents of the agreement which stated that the foreign company will set up a firm here and purchase the property,” said Surendra Man Pradhan, chief executive officer of Sunrise Bank. As per the documents, the foreign company has agreed to purchase the property for $10 million. It seeks to take ahead the commercial complex construction project ahead.
However, this is not the first time that the company committed to repay the loans. Earlier, citing technical problems in selling the plot, the company had written to Sunrise Bank on October 31, stating that it would repay the outstanding interest within three weeks even if it failed to dispose the property. According to Sunrise, the company has regularly been paying interest. The company, however, is yet to clear its outstanding interest for the first quarter to Prime.
Following the deal, the banks are optimistic about the loan recovery. “We are hopeful that our loans will be recovered and we have asked the central bank to lift the property sale ban,” said Prime General Manager Sanjeev Manandhar. “We will move ahead as per the central bank’s direction.”
The central bank is currently studying the deal to ascertain its authenticity. “We can open the door for selling collateral as long as the borrower is paying interest,” said a senior NRB official.
NRB officials, however, are not sure whether laws allow a foreign company to invest here in real estate.
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RIVER RANGERS TO PROTECT ENDANGERED CROCS
Kathmandu, 31 Dec.: It was 12:15 last Friday. A boat with 12 people including River Rangers on board set off to sail along the Rapti river to monitor and survey the world’s largest crocodilian , Pragati Shahi writes in The Kathmandu Post reports from Chitwan.
species. Within a few seconds of the journey, two critically endangered gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) were spotted basking in the sun along the river basin.
Sushil Jha, a senior game scout with the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and one of the River Rangers, took out the GPS (Global Positioning System) device to locate the gharials spotted in the river. “Normally, we recorded three gharials in the area during our regular monitoring,” he said. During the 45-minute boat ride started from the Kasara ghat, Jha, along with four other rangers, was busy reporting and documenting the activities observed in around the river.
Activities like number of people bathing in the river or doing other activities such as carrying thatch, and number of livestock grazing in the field near the river were documented during the ride. According to Bikash Pathak, another river ranger and surveyor, the team travels around 15 kilometres on a day, four times a month, on a boat and collects information like human pressure, gharial monitoring, fishing status, livestock grazing and pollution of the river. Besides Jha and Pathak, Pipal Tamang, Suk Dev Bhattarai and Sukra Bahadur Bote are members of the team. At 33, Rapti has the second largest number of gharials after the Narayani river in the country.
The CNP, with technical and financial support from the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) Project, a team of River Rangers comprising local youths, representatives of families dependent on the rivers for their livelihood and park authorities was formed some two months ago in Rapti and Narayani rivers.
“The objective of this initiative is to ensure regular monitoring of gharial populations in the Rapti and Narayani rivers through the direct involvement of locals who have a better knowledge on the resources,” said Abdul Ansari, project co-manager, TAL. A river rangers’ training was held in September, teaching participants on GPS use, gharial and Mugger crocodile differentiation techniques, river patrol and data collection.
Meanwhile, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and WWF-Nepal are working on a River Management Plan for Rapti and Narayani that will identify strategies to protect gharials and help the indigenous Bhote, Musahar and Majhi communities dependent on the rivers for their livelihood.
With a few hundreds in number, gharial, a critically endangered freshwater crocodile, is found in the remaining habitats of India and Nepal only. The highest numbers of gharials were counted in the Rapti, Narayani, Babai and Karnali rivers with 33, 48, 17 and 4 individuals respectively, making a total of 102 gharials in Nepal. TAL project coordinator Shiv Raj Bhatta said there has not been much research on gharials and their characteristics.
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