Nepal Today

Friday, March 29, 2013

EC ASKS GOVT. ASKED TO DISTRIBUTE CITIZENSHIP Kathmandu, 29 March: The Election Commission (EC) has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs urging it to begin the citizenship distribution task as the citizenship was the basis for the voters' list, RSS reports.. At a meeting of top officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the EC officials on Friday, the EC urged the Ministry officials to expedite the citizenship distribution process as updating the voters' list was unlikely without citizenship certificates. EC's spokesperson Anil Kumar Thakur said the Ministry is deploying officials to distribute the citizenships in all districts within ten days keeping upcoming elections to Constituent Assembly (CA) in mind. He said the EC would also begin registering names for biometric voters' list. The Ministry officials said that it would take 10 more days to begin the citizenship distribution tasks, as the Ministry requires time to print the required number of registration papers. So far, 11 million biometric voters' lists were collected and the EC plans to collect 1.5 million more. Chief Election Commissioner Nilkantha Upreti was also present at the meeting. Nnnn CHAINPUR POWER PRODUCING LICENSE CANCELLED Kathmandu, 29 March: The Ministry of Energy has revoked the license of the Chainpur Seti River Electricity Project after the project failed to submit the progress report and pay the raised fees, RSS reports. Gokarna Raj Pantha, Information Officer at the Department of Electricity Development,said that the licence of the project with a capacity to generate 454 Megawatt of electricity has been cancelled. Indian power development promoters Jindal Power was awarded the license for the construction of the project. According to Pantha, the Ministry's secretary level meeting annulled the license citing that the project failed to renew and submit its latest progress reports despite asking the project to do so from time to time. The project failed to renew as per the increase in the rate of renewal charges, he added. The government will now take aghead the project placing it in the 'basket fund'. The government has lately increased the charges for projects over 100 Megawatts capacity by a significant amount. Projects with a capacity of more than 100 Megawatts have to pay five million rupees annually. Jindal Powers, the promoters of the project, had paid one million rupees last fiscal year to the government. The preliminary survey works of the project had already been moved ahead.The hydro power project construction site is Chainpur in Bajhang district. The project is said to be constructed at a cost of approximately Rs 65 billion. nnnn 83 KILLED IN TIBET GOLDMINE LANDSLIDE Lathmandu, 29 March: A massive landslide engulfed a gold mining area in mountainous Tibet, burying 83 workers believed to have been asleep early Friday morning, Chinese state media said, AP reports from Beijing.. About 2 million cubic meters (2.6 million cubic yards) of mud, rock and debris swept through the area as the workers were resting and covered an area measuring around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles), China Central Television said. The official Xinhua News Agency said the workers in Lhasa's Maizhokunggar county worked for a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp., a state-owned enterprise and the country's largest gold producer. The disaster is likely to inflame critics of Chinese rule in Tibet who say Beijing's interests are driven by the region's mineral wealth and strategic position and come at the expense of the region's delicate ecosystem and Tibetans' Buddhist culture and traditional way of life. The reports said at least two of the buried workers were Tibetan while most of the workers were believed to be ethnic Han Chinese, a reflection of how such large projects often create an influx of the majority ethnic group into the region. More than 1,000 police, firefighters, soldiers and medics have been deployed to the site, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Lhasa, the regional capital. They conducted searches armed with devices to detect signs of life and accompanied by sniffer dogs, reports said. Around 30 excavators were also digging away at the site late Friday as temperatures fell to just below freezing. The reports said the landslide was caused by a "natural disaster" but did not provide specifics. It was unclear why the first news reports of the landslide came out several hours after it occurred. China's recently appointed President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered authorities to "spare no efforts" in their rescue work, Xinhua said. County officials reached by phone confirmed the landslide but had no further details, saying that information reaching the main office was limited due to poor cellphone coverage at the site. Calls to the company's general phone line rang unanswered. Doctors at the local county hospital said they had been told to prepare to receive survivors but none had arrived. "We were ordered to make all efforts to receive the injured," said a doctor who gave only her surname, Ge, in the hospital's emergency section. Ge said the hospital transferred some of its patients to other facilities to increase the number of beds available and that 16 doctors were on duty. The Chinese government has been encouraging development of mining and other industries in long-isolated Tibet as a way to promote its economic growth and raise living standards. The region has abundant deposits of copper, chromium, bauxite and other precious minerals and metals and is one of fast-growing China's last frontiers. Tibet remains among China's poorest regions despite producing a large share of its minerals. A key source of anti-Chinese anger is complaints by local residents that they get little of the wealth extracted by government companies, most of which flows to distant Beijing. In 2008, unhappiness with Chinese rule spilled over into deadly riots that engulfed Lhasa and an anti-government uprising that swept many Tibetan communities. To quell the unrest, Beijing poured security forces into Tibetan areas and has kept them there since, giving the western China region the feel of a military garrison and further alienating many Tibetans. In recent years, more than 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest the stifling security presence and call for greater religious freedom. nnnn


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