Nepal Today

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2070 Your blogger wishes you a happy and prosperous NewYear 2070. Thank you for the support and good words during 2060. Readership and reach have been expanding every month. Will try and continue to provide fast and reliable information on Nepal in 2060 as well. Thanks and Best regards and Best Wishes Again. Bhola B Rana Nnnn GOVT, CHIEF ANNOUNCES ASSEMLY ELECTIONS IN MID-DECEMBER Kathmandu, 14 April: Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi Sunday said the second constituent assembly election will be held mid-December in the first firm announcement of election dates by a responsible government official. He asked parties opposing the government and vote to participate in elections. “A new constitution that can promote political stability and continue the process of economic and social development is the need of the hour. “All of us have to be active in framing a new constitution that can ensure sustainable development . “I urge all Nepali brothers and sisters staying in and outside the country to help the government in making the election to be held by mid-December a success,” Regmi said in a message .. Regmi asked all political parties to join the election fray while extending his New Year meetings to countrymen. “I formally urge the political parties who have differing views with regard to election to join the election process,” the statement added.. nnnn PRACHANDA VISITING CHINA FROM SUNDAY Kathmandu, 14 April: Maoist Chairman Prachanda is leaving for talks with the new Chinese leadership Sunday and will be away for one week. He is holding talks with top party and government leaders recently installed. Prachanda will be the second South Asian leader to hold talks the changed leadership after President Xi held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in South Afcria. Prachanda will be accompanied by two part functionaries and his wife Sita to China. He;s visiting Inia after China. nnnn . WILDFIRES AFFECT 35 DISTRICTS Kathmandu, 14 April:: Wildfires engulfed forests in as many as 37 districts of Nepal by Saturday, reported the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Om Astha Rai writes in Republica. Wildfires, which were restricted to mostly Tarai districts until a few days ago, spread not only in hills but also in mountain districts like Humla and Solukhumbu on Saturday. Wildfires engulfed forests in protected areas like Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Banke National Park. ICIMOD reported a forest fire in Lelep VDC-3 of Taplejung district, which forms part of Kanchanjungha Conservation Area, too. According to ICIMOD, which uses satellite images to report forest fires, altogether 149 wildfires were detected in different parts of the country on Saturday, which is one of highest numbers of forest fires detected by NASA satellites this year. "Saturday turned out to be the worst day of this fire season," said Sundar Prasad Sharma, Coordinator of Regional South Asia Wildland Fire Network (RSAWFN). "However, in the days to come, more forest fires can affect more districts." According to the Nepal Forest Fire Management Chapter (NFMC) of the RSAWFN, more than two wildfires were detected in districts like Makawanpur, Sindhuli, Nawalparasi, Chitwan, Udayapur, Banke, Kapilvastu, Kavre, Khotang, Solukhumbu, Lalitpur, Dang, Tanahun and Morang. In some Tarai districts like Banke and Chitwan, wildfires have gone out of control of local communities and forest authorities. Especially in forests along the Chure range, authorities and local people have failed to initiate any efforts to fight wildfires. "Several wildfires are raging through forests of the Chure area of Banke for the last two weeks," said Tularam Khatri, Banke district secretary of Federation of Community Forest Users´ Group (FECOFUN). "But, neither we nor forest authorities have been able to reach fire-affected areas of the Chure range." According to Khatri, Community Forest Users´ Groups (CFUGs) have somehow managed to control wildfires in their areas so far. "Apart from the Chure area, it is the forests in the Banke National Park (BNP) area that have been worst affected by wildfires," said Khatri. "The authorities are not active to douse wildfires in the park area. But, they do not even allow the locals to enter the core area of the BNP for the purpose." Sharma, of the RSAWFN, stressed the need for deploying rapid response teams to fight wildfires effectively. "Wildfires are chronic in this season," said he. "What we need is strong teams to contain forest fires. The Nepal Army (NA)´s new directorate, which was formed to integrate former Maoist combatants, can be used as a force to fight forest fires." "Such a team cannot be developed overnight," said Sharma. "For the time being, the government should make people, especially those living near forests, careful about handling wildfires. Sending children to look after cattle in forest area can be too risky this time around." Nnnn


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