Nepal Today

Saturday, September 29, 2012


MONSOON ENDS Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: This year’s monsoon ended Sunday after breaking one week late, an official announcement said. The annual rain began with a whimper and ended with a bang. Below normal rainfall was recorded in Hune, July and August but above normal rin fell in September. Nnnn SHORAHA SHARAD BEGINS SUNDAY Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Shoraha Sharad started Sunday. The death of ancestors is commemorated through puja. nnnn IDENTIFICATION OF BODY PARTS OF SITA AIR CRASH A DIFFICULT TASK Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: The government has confirmed the identification of 12 foreign passengers who lost their lives in Friday´s Sita Air crash. However, the bodies could not handover it was difficult to identify individual bodies as they were charred in the fire that engulfed the crashed aircraft., Samiksha Koirla writes in Republica. The government officials have also announced that one of the deceased foreigners was found to be a US citizen. Wu Hui who was identified as a Chinese citizen earlier, has now been identified as US citizen of Chinese origin. Hui had American passport. The officials said that the confusion over the nationality of Hui had surfaced because the travel agents failed to provide the passport copies of the deceased on time. Addressing a meeting on Saturday, Tourism Minister Post Bahadur Bogati said it was shameful that the government could not ensure proper identification of the deceased even after 48 hours of the crash. “This is a serious matter and shows incompetence of the concerned government authority, airlines and the travel agents,” he said. According to the airlines source, Flight Connection had issued the tickets of four Chinese and an American passenger without obtaining the copy of passport. Bodies yet to be identified medically The relatives of air crash victim could not receive the body on Saturday as well, as the authority could not identify them because they were charred beyond recognition. All 19 bodies were badly charred in the incident and requires more investigation for the identification, according to medical officials. Dr Harihar Awasti of Forensic Department of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hosptial (TUTH), said the hospital has sent the samples abroad for DNA test to confirm their identity. Seven Nepali including three crew members, seven Briton, four Chinese and a US citizen were killed in the crash. Sales and Marketing Manager of Sita Air Dipendra Shahi said that he was hopeful that the bodies of Nepali nationals would be handed over to their families by Sunday. “Although the report of autopsy is yet to be received, we are in contact with all the relatives and they are identifying the body with the help of body size, jewelry and other signs,” he said. Shahi said that in case of foreigners the body would be handed over after the report of DNA test only. Government commits to strengthen aviation safety Expressing serious concern over the frequent air crashes, the government has decided to take serious measures to ensure aviation safety. A ministerial level meeting on Saturday instructed Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to deploy Safety Inspectors in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Nepagunj. The meeting has decided to form a high level aviation safety coordinating agency in near future. Suresh Acharaya, joint-secretary of MoCTCA and member secretary of the accident probe commission said the meeting decided to form a permanent investigative body for the air crash.“"The permanent body will be more influential and will help analyze the case properly which will ultimately help ensure aviation safety”" said he. The meeting has also instructed flight safety standard department of CAAN to strengthen the supervisory role. He said,“"We have decided to hold regular meeting amongst airport security, CAAN and the airlines companies to ensure better coordination”" Similarly, the ministry has also called a meeting with National Bird Control Committee to avoid such incidents in near future. Meanwhile, the British government has also sent aviation experts to Nepal to assist the probe committee in their investigation. Nnnn YARSHAGUMGA TRADE NOT ALWAYS PROFITABLE Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: Chandra Singh Karki, 30, of Ghusa VDC-8 in Darchula district, bought two kilos of yarsagumba for Rs 2.4 million from a local villager last year. But, when yarsagumba traders from Kathmandu reached Ghusa, Karki did not get more than Rs two million, Bikram Giri writes in Republica from Mahendra nagar.. “I had to sell all my yarsagumba by incurring a loss of Rs 400,000” said Karki. He is yet to get Rs 200,000 from the Kathmandu-based yarsagumba traders. “They gave me only Rs 1.8 million last year,” said he, adding, “They had promised that they would pay me the dues this year. But, they did not turn up in my village this year.” Having incurred a loss of Rs 600,000 in yarsagumba trade, Karki has now ended up working as a temporary teacher at Mahadev Secondary School of Ghusa. He has now vowed never ever to get involved in yarsagumba trade in the future. Karki is not the only person who has suffered loss in yarsagumba trade. Hundreds of people - mostly those who collect yarsagumba by risking their lives and those who want to earn profits by purchasing precious herbs from local villagers and selling them to traders from Kathmandu - have incurred huge losses. To many, the trade of yarsagumba, a high-altitude wild fungus that is also known as Himalayan Viagra, appears quite lucrative and highly profitable. But, it is risky not only for the lives of yarsagumba collectors but also for the investment of local traders. The risk involved in it largely stems from the fact that all yarsagumba collectors and traders do their business on credit. They neither get nor give full amounts for yarchagumba. “Those who don´t want to sell their yarsagumba on credit are never able to strike deals,” says Karki. “Traders come to villages from Kathmandu and take away yarsagumba by giving just some or half the amount. They promise to pay the dues only after selling yarsagumba to international traders. But, most of them never fulfill their promises.” As compared to village-based traders, most of yarsagumba collectors get full amounts. But, they often end up striking raw deals. “It´s hard to get appropriate prices,” said Jhalak Singh Dhami, a yarsagumba collector in Khandeshwori VDC of Darchula district. “Our yarsagumbas rot in our houses if we don´t agree to whatever prices the traders offer.” But, like village-based traders, the Kathmandu-based traders also sell yarchagumbas on credit to international traders, mostly from China. “This whole trade depends on trust,” said Dhan Singh Jagari, who has been buying yarsagumba in Darchula and selling them to international traders in Kathmandu, adding, “When you sell yarsagumbas, you can´t be sure whether you will get full amounts later. If you get, you can continue with yarsagumba trade, but if you don´t you have no other option but to quit the trade.” Yarsagumba, the demand of which is very high because of its aphrodisiac qualities, are found in high-altitude villages like Byans, Rapla, Ghusa, Khandeshwori, Sunsera and Sittola of Darchula district, which are covered with snow throughout the winter season. In Darchula, around 15,000 people collect 10-12 quintals of yarsagumba every year. However, the government does not get revenue on all yarsagumba. According to Api-Nampa Conservation Area, the government had received revenues from only 732 kilos of yarsagumba in the fiscal year 2011-12. Nnnn BIRD HIT BROKE TAIL FIN CAUSING SITA AIR DRONIER CRASH: A CLAIMS Kathmandu, 30 Sept.: After a bird collided with the right engine of the Sita Air’s Dornier aircraft, a small particle or fiber spread out from the engine blowing out the “vertical tail fin” that disabled the flight control, according to aviation experts, Sangam Parsai writes in The Kathmandu Post.. As the crew was unable to control the aircraft, it nose-dived on the banks of the Manohara River in Bhaktapur district on Friday morning, killing all 19 on board. Experts from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal ( CAAN ) and the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) assume that the break-off of the vertical stabilizer made the aircraft uncontrolled immediately after it took off. The vertical tail fin of an aircraft points upwards. This is also known as the vertical stabiliser, which allows the pilot to control the plane. The tail fin helps the plane take direction. Air presses against both its surfaces with equal force when the plane is moving straight ahead. But if the aircraft turns right or left, air pressure increases on one side of the stabilizer and decreases on the other. This imbalance in pressure pushes the tail back to line. “Although the probe committee will come up with the details, preliminary finding shows that the aircraft was first ‘bird-hit’ that triggered the break-off of the tail fin,” said AOAN President Rameshwore Thapa, after a meeting between air operators, government officials and CAAN representatives. The aircraft was at around 4,440 ft, some 50 ft up from the runway, when the bird hit it. Aviation experts said the panic-stricken pilot made a steep turn to the left to land the plane at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from the north without maintaining a required radius. After the right engine and subsequently the tail fin were damaged, the plane lost its balance and failed to take direction, added experts, seeking anonymity. “This could have resulted in the stalled condition of the plane.” According to a press statement issued by the CAAN on Friday, traffic controllers noticed the aircraft making unusual maneuvers right after its take-off. The “unusual turbulence” of the plane was noticed from the ground. The aircraft was cleared for Lukla, 136-km east of Kathmandu, at 6:17 am by the Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The aircraft made its last contact with the ATC at 6:18 am, reporting a ‘bird-hit.’ The plane crashed 30 seconds later. The pilot was not even able to inform the ATC on his plan to divert the aircraft back to TIA for an emergency landing when he faced the two problems simultaneously, the experts presumed. Meanwhile, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Post Bahadur Bogati directed the air operators to take up quality assurance and safety measures seriously. He also directed the CAAN to update technical documents and make effective monitoring and supervision. He directed it to appoint safety inspectors in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Nepalgunj immediately. A post-casualty meeting held on Saturday under the chairmanship of Minister Bogati decided to recommend the government provide discounts in aeronautical parts to the air operators by amending the existing aviation policy in a bid to make the industry more sophisticated. The meeting decided to activate National Birds Control Committee. The deceased foreigners Name Passport no BRITISH RAYMOND EAGLE 504863381 CHISTOPHER FRANCIS DAVEY 060307465 VINCENT JAMES KELLY 500977789 DARREN ALAN KELLY 109737218 TIMOTHY GEORGE OAKES 308779829 STEPHEN BENJAMIN HOLDING 108495282 BENJAMIN ANDREW OGDEN 206495163 Name Passport no CHINESE NATIONALS MING WU QIAN G40797035 YANG ZHIHUA G20926949 CHEN YANG G47655512 LIN WU G29676184 United States HUI WU 485285378 nnnn

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