Nepal Today

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NEPAL BANDH CLOSES DOWN COUNTRY Kathmandu, 7 April: A Nepal bandh Sunday called by 33 parties, including CPN Maoist, disrupted life even as government invited the parties for talks. The parties are demanding recall of the Khil Ram Regmi government and correction in amendments to an interim constitution termed ‘removing of obstacles’ by President DR. Ram Baran Yadav and the previous government of Baburam Bhattaai/. The opposition is demanding a national consensus government selected by a roundtable conference. The RSS, quoting the Nepal Army Public Relations Directorate, said suspicious objects were spotted in Dhobikhola, Chabahil and Sukedhara early today. It said the NA’s bomb disposal teams have been dispatched to those areas. The report added it is however not known yet whether those objects are bombs. In Banepa, banda enforcers vandalized a public bus (Na 4 Kha 2525), which arrived in the city from Birgunj, carrying passengers and commodities, early this morning, according to our correspondent Madhusudan Guragain. They also attacked a motorcycle (Ba 32 Pa 622) for defying the banda. Hundreds of passengers have been affected, with no vehicles plying the Araniko Highway and the Banepa-Sindhuli-Bardibas route. Students appearing for the Bachelor’s level examinations have also been affected by the strike. In Ilam, strikers vandalized a night bus from Kathmandu at Kanyam VDC along the Mechi Highway, our correspondent Bhim Chapagain reported. A child passenger was injured in the mishap. The bus (Na 3 Kha 2569) was en route to Pashupatinagar when banda enforcers attacked the bus, leaving two-year-old Dilip Dhami of Dolakha injured, according to police. Police said two motorcycles used by the strikers have been taken under control. Transportation has come to a complete halt on the highway since early this morning. Educational institution, industries and marketplaces have remained closed in the district due to today´s banda. In Dang, banda enforcers manhandled some students at Mahendra Multiple Campus, Gorahi, who resorted to retaliation after the strikers tried to force the closure of the campus, our correspondent Devendra Basnet reported. Security forces have been deployed at the campus considering a possible clash between the two sides. The classes were halted at the campus following the mishap. Transportation, academic institutions, industries, businesses and marketplaces have remained closed in the district. Strikers wielding sticks have descended on the road to ensure a complete shutdown. According to RSS, the nationwide strike has crippled life in Makawanpur district and there are no vehicles operating from Hetauda to Kathmandu since 5:00 this morning. In Birgjunj, strikers have halted the operation of all long route vehicles to and from the southern border city. The strike has halted the operation of long route vehicles to and from Birgunj. However, short route vehicles such as rickshaws and carts are seen operating without interruption. Similarly, the strike has paralyzed normal life in Siraha, Jhapa, Panchthar, Taplejung, and Kanchanpur as well. In Siraha, strikers have shut even government offices during today’s banda. Our corresponded Mithilesh Yadav, reported that all government offices, including the transport management office, Nepal Electricity Authority district office, district forest office, land revenues office and irrigation office, among others, have remained shut in Lahan. Also academic institutions, private banks and financial institutions, shops and marketplaces are closed due to the banda. Apart from ambulances and two-wheelers, no vehicles are running on the East West Highway across the district. Nnnn TWO KILLED IN CHITWAN BIKE ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 7 April: At least two persons were killed and one sustained serious injury in a road accident that occurred at Bharatpur, Chitwan Saturday Nightm RSS reports from Chitwan. Anil Bista of Lalitpur and Bimala Tamang, 27, of Jutepani-4, Sagun Tole of Chitwan lost their lives when the motorbike they (Na 14 Pa 2595) were travelling to collided with a stationary tractor (Na 3 Ta 5548) at Hakimchowk in Bharatpur, said the police. Motorbike rider Bista breathed his last on the spot while pillion rider Tamang died while being treated at Medical Science College, Bharatpur this morning, said the District Police Office, Chitwan. Likewise, seriously injured Bikash Shrestha of Bhaktapur, who was also travelling to by the same motorbike, is undergoing treatment in the hospital. Police have impounded the stationary tractor and search for tractor driver is underway, said district police. nnnn NIB FORMS TALKS TEAM FOR INVESTMENTS IN BIG HYDRO POWER PROJECTS Kathmandu, 7 April : The secretariat of the Nepal Investment Board (NIB), a high-level government entity, has formed a project development agreement (PDA) negotiation team and is planning to seek approval for it from the NIB board of Directors, Bhoj Rak Poudel writes in Republica. . The NIB secretariat has formed a six-member team comprising representatives from NIB and the Ministries of Finance (MoF), Energy (MoE) and Forests and Soil Conversation (MoFSC), according to a member of the team. "The team should be approved by the board. The NIB secretariat will forward a proposal to the board for that purpose," the member said on condition of anonymity. According to the source, NIB has selected Radesh Pant, chief executive officer at NIB; Mukunda Poudel, joint-secretary at NIB, and Baikuntha Aryal, joint-secretary at MoF, as well as another joint-secretary at MoF, two joint-secretaries at MoE and a joint-secretary at MoFSC as members of the PDA negotiation team. NIB, which is currently working to take forward the development of four mega hydropower projects, formed the team on the basis of a mandate it received from the government a couple of months ago. The projects currently on hand include the 900 MW Arun III, 650 MW Tamakoshi III, 900 MW Upper Karnali and 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi. "The team will start PDA negotiations with the developers of those four mega projects after it is approved by the board of directors meeting scheduled within the next couple of weeks. Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam is lined up for the development of Arun III, GMR for Upper Karnali and Upper Marsyangdi and SN Power for Tamakoshi III. Sutlej and GMR and Indian companies whereas SN Power is Norwegian. The PDA negotiations, one of the crucial stages in project development, are yet to be held with all the developers. According to officials, the PDA template -- a baseline document for such negotiations -- is also yet to be finalized. However, Pant said that the board of directors has already approved the PDA template. NIB is developing the PDA template with the technical and legal support of Herbert Smith, a legal consultancy firm based in London. "The PDA template is a basic requirement in sitting for negotiations with developers," an official at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers told Republica. "The finalization of the PDA template is even more important at this moment." nnnn


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