Nepal Today

Saturday, April 20, 2013

SETO MACHINDRANATH BEING TOWED TO LAGON SATURDAY Kathmandu, 20 April: The chariot of Seto Machindranath is being pulled to Lagon from Hanumak Dhoka Satrday on the third nd last day os a journey that egan from Teendhara Paathshala. The chariot with the God of Rain will be pulledthrough streets including Jaishi Dewal beforeariving in Lagon Chowk. The chariot was pulled through the city streets Thursday when theidol of the Rain God was installed in the chariot after being carried from Machindra Bahal. nnnn GOLD STRENGTHENS WITH DEMAND Kathmandu, 20 April: After remaining stable for three consecutive days, the price of gold went up by Rs 430, per 10 gm (Rs 500 per tola) on Friday, trading at Rs 42,870 per 10 gm, up from Rs 42,440 (Rs 50,000 per tola)m The Kathmandu Post writes.. The price of gold had dropped by as much as Rs 5,416 per 10 gram over two days—on Monday and Tuesday—before stabilising. But the price scaled up marginally on Friday. The price started to rise after the massive fall as demand for gold jewellery surged significantly in the domestic market, traders said on Friday. “Compared to Thursday, traders have reported that the sales have increased by 20-25 percent,” said Ramesh Maharjan, president of Nepal Gold, Silver, Gem and Jewellery Federation. Normally, people go for bullion once the price stabilises or increases. “Those in wait-and-see mode were also found purchasing gold ,” Maharjan observed. Traders said that daily demand for gold in the domestic market currently stands at around 35-40 kg as the wedding season is going on. The wedding season will continue till mid-June, which is likely to push the price higher in the days to come. However, the Nepal Rastra Bank’s ceiling on gold supply means only 15 kg of gold is made available for sale in the market each day. Amid rising demand, the traders arbitrarily hiked the price of gold on Friday. “With gold in limited supply, some of the traders were found to have charging premium on the market price,” a member of Federation of Nepal Gold Silver and Jewellers Association (FNGSJA) said, seeking anonymity. “We have been reported that the price has been jacked up by as much as of Rs 2,155, per 10 gm.” He alleged that some traders have even been spreading rumours about the possible shortage of the precious yellow in the market in the near future, compeling customers to buy at the arbitrarily increased price. Gold price in the international market had dropped dramatically last week as investors across the globe opted to invest in property, equity and fixed deposits over the precious yellow metal on the improvement in the US economy and Cyprus’ announcement to dispose off its gold reserve. However, the price of gold in the international market has since stabilised to some extent over the past few days. On Friday, the gold price in international market reached as high as $1405, up from Thursday’s $1,339 per ounce, which is expected to give rise to its price in the domestic market further. Nnnn 315 FOREIGN CLIMBERS ATTEMPTINGEVEREST THIS SPRING Kathmandu, 20 April: The government has issued permits to 315 foreign mountaineers aspiring to summit Mt Everest (8,848 metre) for this spring expedition season, Sangam Prasain writes in The Kathmandu Post.. According to Tourism Industry Division of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), which issues climbing licenses, permits have been issued to 29 team (as of April 18) so far. The 29 team comprises 315 individuals. A total of 30 team, comprising 335 foreigners, were permitted to climb the world’s highest peak last spring. Of the total applicants, only 181 succeeded to conquer the mountain due to the short window of good weather. There were 225 Nepalis (mostly Sherpa guides) last year. The country had recorded 36 Everest expedition teams in 2008, the highest to date, when China banned expeditions on the northern side during the Beijing Olympics. A total of 250 foreign climbers summitted the peak in 2008, with 135 people creating a record by reaching atop Everest on a single day on May 22, 2008. “Although the application time has ended, there could be a few climbers seeking permits this week onwards,” said Tilak Pandey, an official at the Industry Division. The spring climbing season runs from mid-March through the end of May. All mountaineers have left for the Khumbu region to spend time on the lower reaches of the Himalaya for acclimatisation. Mountaineering officials said that many mountaineers have reached their base camps, while some are taking more time to acclimatise themselves to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Everest climbing is one of the top revenue generating activities, with the ministry collecting Rs 254 million in royalty from this spring’s Everest expedition. The government collected Rs 270 million in royalty through the issuance of Everest climbing permit last year. Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), a foreigner climbing Everest on average spends Rs 2.86 million. The amount includes the climber’s permit fee, costs of domestic and international flights, costs of accommodation, mountaineering gears and guide charges. The royalty for climbing Everest ranges from $15,000 to $70,000 per expedition, depending on the size of a team (maximum seven) and the route. For an expedition having a maximum of 15 members, a fee of $10,000 per person is charged. According to the Division, the United States applied for the most number of permits, 74, followed by India, the United Kingdom, China and Japan. “We expect the climbing to begin from the first week of May if this clear weather we have now holds for the next two weeks,” said Sherpa, who is also the chairman of Asian Trekking. According to him, ropes had already been fixed at Camp 2 (6,500m above sea level) and works at Camp 3 (7,470 meters) started on Thursday. The Everest has claimed its first victim this spring when Mingmar Sherpa, 47, a member of a team known as the “icefall doctors”, died while returning from Camp 2 after laying down a series of ladders across the crevasses through the Icefall. He was one of the six “icefall doctors” assigned with the task. The ropes and ladders laid by the icefall doctors are used by hundreds of climbers. The government statistics shows that 3,842 climbers have scaled Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Sherpa first conquered it in 1953. nnnn


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