Nepal Today

Friday, May 3, 2013

THREE KAILALI JOURNALISTS YET TO RETURRN TO WORK PLACEthree Kathmandu, 3 May: Three journalists who arrived in Dhangadhi after displacement from Lamki of Kailali district are still unable to go back to their working station due to insecurity, RSS reports from Kailali. Nawaraj Khanal, Dambar Bom and Tirtha Jaisi, the three journalists based in Lamki who moved out from there after getting threats from different sides for writing news are not in a position to go back to work. Journalists based in Lamki began to get death threats from unidentified groups and people after they filed news on the incident related to one Bishnu Prasad Acharya of Baliya-8, Lamki that happened on March 17. The three journalists came seeking protection from the FNJ Kailali last Tuesday. The FNJ Kailali branch has demanded that the local administration guarantee security to the displaced journalists . Nnnn WORK BY INDIA ON KOSHI CONSTRUCTION STOPS Kathmandu, 3 May: Construction of a channel near Pulthegauda section of the Koshi embankment is halted for the last two weeks after the Indian side directed the concerned contractor to stop the work, Abdesh Kumar Jha , writes in The Kathmandu Post from Inaruwa.. The Rs 160-million project was initiated to reduce the risk of breach in the eastern embankment and to flood-proof the human settlements at Barahachhetra, parts of Mahendranagar VDC and Pulthegauda region of Sunsari. With monsoon only a few months away, more than 5,000 families stand at risk of flood. Rajesh Kumar, chief engineer of the Koshi Project, admitted that the construction works of a 3.7-km channel was stopped on the direction of Rajeshwar Dayal, engineer-in-chief (North) of Water Resources Department (Govt of Bihar). He said they cannot go against the decision of the higher authority. The Koshi Project had awarded the contract to Surya and Sons (P) Ltd of Sunsari. Surendra Khatiwada of Surya and Sons (P) Ltd said not even 50 percent work had been accomplished when they received the order from Dayal to stop. Maniklal Shrestha, director of the Eastern Regional Irrigation Directorate, who is also the member of the Koshi High Level Committee, said the Indian authorities had not informed the committee about their decision to halt the work. He said he will take up the matter to the Indian officials. Meanwhile, people living in the flood-risked areas have demanded immediate resumption of the project. This is not the first time the Koshi Project officials have stopped work in Koshi. A strike of engineers appointed by the Bihar government had halted construction work at the eastern embankment in February. Earlier, the Koshi Project workers had stopped their work, citing security concerns and obstructions from local people. nnnn NOC RECODS PROFIT Kaathmandu, 3 May: The state oil monopoly is finally in the black, with its profits for the month of May projected at Rs 200 million. However, consumers might have to wait for some more time before Nepal Oil Corporation’s profits trickle down to Consumers, The Himalayan Times reports. “NOC has projected Rs 200 million profit for May, but it will be too early to adjust price of petroleum products downward,” said Suresh Kumar Agrawal, Acting Managing Director, NOC. The projected profit after 10 months — earlier NOC had turned a profit of around Rs 150 million in July 2012 — could fail to benefit the consumers also due to state oil monopoly’s accumulated losses. “We can think of price adjustment but only if the profiting trend continues,” Agrawal said, adding that NOC’s accumulated loss, including loan, till date is pegged at Rs 28.5 billion. NOC has projected the profit on the basis of May 1 rate card of the Indian Oil Corporation — the sole supplier of NOC. “But it could change in a fortnight as IOC sends its rate card on first and 15th of every month of the Gregorian calendar,” Agrawal added. The reduction in loss in the liquefied petroleum gas — popularly known as cooking gas — has helped NOC make profit for the time being. “The loss of NOC that stood at Rs 67.2 million for April was due to huge loss it was incurring in cooking gas,” he added. The loss in cooking gas — that has been eating all the profits of other petroleum products’ profits — has gone down by Rs 64 to Rs 439 from Rs 504 per cylinder. Likewise, NOC will profit Rs 12.89 for each litre of petrol, Rs 3.44 for each litre of diesel and Rs 15.83 for each litre of kerosene, according to the new rate card. “Instead of reducing price in haste, NOC is planning to increase stock for smooth supply for the monsoon season,” Agrawal said. Currently, NOC has a stock of 18,000 kilolitres of petroleum products. The domestic market consumes 18,000 kl of petrol, 68,000 kl of diesel, 3,000 kl of kerosene, some 3,000 kl ATF (domestic), 7,000 kl of ATF (international) and 1.3 million cylinders of LPG in a month, according to NOC projection. “Smooth supply and energy guarantee are more important than price adjustment in a hurry,” Agrawal added. Nnnn DRIVE AGAINST FOOTPATH ENCROACHMENT Kathmandu, 3 May: In a bid to curb footpath encroachment in the Capital, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) is launching a new campaign against roadside garages and automobile workshop s, The Kathmandu Post reports.. According to the MTPD, a number of garages and workshop s, operating on footpaths and streets in various places in the capital city, have been obstructing vehicular and public movements. As part of the campaign starting Sunday, efforts will be made at removing garages and workshop s from footpaths and streets, said police. The traffic police operation, in its initial phase, will be implemented for one week. “New programmes will be launched based on the outcomes during the first one week,” said MTPD spokesperson DSP Pawan Giti. According to Giri, police have directed the respective owners to remove their garages and workshop s by Sunday. “Garages and workshop s, if found operating on roadsides despite our warning, will be forcibly removed and the owners will be legally prosecuted.” Issuing a press statement on Thursday, the MTPD said increasing unmanaged workshop s have proved problematic in the recent days, as the road expansion drive is under way throughout the Kathmandu Valley. “Residues of engine oils, lubricants and other hardware materials that are left on the roads and footpaths are harmful to the blacktopped roads,” the statement read. nnnn


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