Nepal Today

Saturday, May 11, 2013


MAN RESCUED FROM SOLUKHUMBU RIVER Kathmandu, 11 May:Solukhumbu Police have rescued a person who fell down into the Ghatte rivulet in Solukhumbu on Friday, RSS reports from Solukhumbu.. Police rescued and rushed him to the District Hospital, Phaplu for treatment, said DSP Sudan Sing Basnet. He is around 40. His name and address are yet to be identified, said the police. Apparently, he belongs to Tarai community of Nepal. Locals had informed police about the incident after being unable to rescue him. RSS Nnnn UML LAUNCHING MONTH-LONG ELECTION CAMPAIGN Kathmandu, 11 May: As a part of its preparations for the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections, a Central Committee meeting of the CPN-UML has decided to launch a one-month election campaign across the country starting from May 17, The Kathmandu Post reports.. During the campaign called “Party Mobilisation for Election Campaign- 2013”, central representatives to be deployed in all 240 election constituencies will disseminate party position on elections by organising mass meetings, interactions, discussions and orientations at the local level. “The campaign will evaluate our strength and organisational status across the country. We will also formulate party’s strategy for upcoming elections through the campaign,” said UML Secretary Yubaraj Gyawali. He said leaders will try to clarify the reason behind dissolution of the Constituent Assembly without promulgating new constitution and differences among parties on key constitutional issues. On key constitutional issues of federalism and forms of governance, the CC decided to contest election with an agenda of multiple identity based federalism and directly elected prime minister. The UML has been advocating for not allowing crime convicts to contest elections and disqualify parties which do not secure one percent of the total votes to participate in the proportional electoral system. The party has also stood for limiting the number of election constituencies to 240. The party had called a national gathering of its cadres on July 19 in Kathmandu to amend party statute and take some decisions on elections. Similarly, the party has formed a taskforce under the leadership of Secretary Shankar Pokharel to ensure victory of the party’s student wing—All Nepal National Free Student Union’s of Free Student Union—in the upcoming Free Student Union elections. ]The panel comprises central committee members Bishunu Rimal, Ghanshyam Bhusal, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Yogesh Bhattarai. Nnnn NE ASKED TO PREPARE PLAN TO UPGRADE UPPER TRISHULI -3 A CAPACITY Kathmandu, 11 May: The Ministry of Energy (MoE) has directed the Nepal Electricity Authority ( NEA ) to come up with a detailed proposal to enhance the capacity of the Upper Trishuli-3A Hydropower Project from 60 to 90 MW within a week. Energy secretary Hari Ram Koirala, who has been lobbying hard to upgrade the project’s capacity, issued the order a couple of weeks ago. However, the Supreme Court and the Cabinet have authorised the NEA to make the decision in this regard. MoE and NEA officials said that Koirala’s instruction was intended to press the NEA to upgrade the project’s capacity. In July last year, the MoE was dragged into controversy after it one-sidedly moved ahead for capacity upgradation despite objections from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The Cabinet had given its approval in principle to enhance the project’s capacity. Following the agreement, advocate Loknath Chapagain filed a writ at the Supreme Court on Jan 8 challenging the Cabinet’s move. In its final verdict, the court, however, said the Cabinet had given its approval only in principle stating that the NEA should reach a decision after conducting a study of the project’s financial and technical aspects. The NEA board is now authorized to make the final decision in this regard, and it has already asked the NEA management to study and advise if the capacity should be increased or not. “The committee has not initiated the study intentionally as it is of the view that the project’s capacity increment would do more harm than good for the country,” said a member of the management committee. The MoE official said that the energy secretary, taking advantage of the NEA ’s indecision, directed the NEA to submit a proposal in this regard a couple of days ago. Energy secretary Koirala confirmed that he had instructed the NEA not to delay the process and come up with a decision soon whether the project’s capacity should be enhanced or not. “Due to lack of a decision, the project’s construction has been held up for more than a year,” he said. “The project should not be made a victim of indecisiveness.” However, he refuted charges that he had directed upgrading the capacity. “I do not know if the capacity should be increased or not as it is the NEA ’s task to decide that.” He added he was only of the opinion that a clear decision should be made in this regard as soon as possible. NEA officials have also complained that energy secretary Koirala has no authority to issue directives to the NEA . The contractor had signed an agreement with the NEA in May 2010 in which it had pledged to complete the project (then 60 MW) by May 2014. The decision to increase the capacity means that the project will be pushed back by three years besides requiring an additional investment of Rs 4 billion. The Chinese contractor, China Gezhouba Group Co, had long been demanding that the project be upgraded. After its plan to upgrade the project was rejected twice by the MoF and the NEA board, the ministry had sent the proposal to the Cabinet in mid-December. nnnn

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