Nepal Today

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A CESSNA JOINS MAKALU FLEET Kathmandu, 26 June: A single engine Cessna Grand Caravan 20BB has joined the fleet of Makalu Airways. The carrier fleet strength has increased to three with the addition. nnnn CAPITAL’S WEDNESDAY MORNING TEMPERATURE 19 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 27 June: Capital’s Wednesday morning temperature was 19 degrees Celsois. Mercury is expected to rise to 26 degrees Celsius. Altogether 16.5mm tainfall was recorded Tuesday. nnnn UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF NEPALIS MISSING IN FLOOD RAVAGED INDIA Kathmandu, 26 June: The number of Nepalis missing in the Uttarakhand flooding in India could surpass the estimated figure of 300, as the names of many working in the disaster-hit areas are not on the roster of missing persons. Devendra Bhattarai writes in The Kathmadu Post from Haridwar in Uttarkhand.. Thousands of Nepalis, mainly from western Nepal, were working in Uttarakhand as porters, palanquin bearers and manual labourers. A majority of those reported missing in the June 16 disaster are pilgrims visiting the Hindu shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Him Bahadur Khadka, who hails from Sankha VDC-4 in Rukum, has been working as a palanquin bearer in the area for the past 10 years. He said around 7,000 Nepalis had procured permits to work as palanquin bearers this season. “I cannot imagine how many survived and how many were caught in the flood. Around 100 of our friends got swept away while trying to get across a river,” Khadka said. He claimed that the Nepali authorities have not shown any concern about the migrant workers who might be missing in the disaster. Kul Bahadur BK, a native from Darmakot village in Salyan, said out of the 50 people from his village working as palanquin bearers, only him and a fellow villager, Lal Bahadur BK, returned home. “I witnessed many of my villagers and other Nepali friends drown in the floodwaters,” said Kul Bahadur. The Nepali Embassy in New Delhi has submitted the names of around 100 missing Nepali migrant workers to the Uttarakhand Emergency Operation Centre. It is learnt that at least 12,000 Nepalis were working in the flood-affected areas as porters and palanquin bearers. Meanwhile, the Banke District Administration Office (DAO) has reported that 1,264 Nepalis have entered the country through the Jamunaha border point in the past four days. All of them arrived from Uttarakhand in the wake of the flooding. Among them, only eight persons were pilgrims, while the remaining were migrant workers, said Basanta Kainijiya of the DAO. Nnnn HANDLING BODIES AT TAI A CHALLENGE6 - Kathmandu, 27 June:Despite the contribution of the roughly 3 million migrant population abroad, the government has failed to build a proper morgue at the Tribhuvan International Airport ( TIA ) that can store unattended corpses of Nepalis sent from foreign Lands, Roshan Sedhai writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The country’s only international airport has been using a store room to keep the dead bodies, while it receives four corpses on an average every day. Let alone an air conditioner, the store lacks even a cooling system. The bodies rotting and foul smell emanating from them have become common in and around the store. According to stakeholders, things turn more complicated when family members of the dead delay or do not show up to collect the body. “Keeping the bodies during the summer is tougher. Sometimes, chemicals have to be used to keep the bodies from decaying further,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ganesh Chand said. According to him, it takes time for people from remote villages to travel to the Capital, while some don’t even get informed of the bodies arriving at the airport. “In extreme cases, we request hospitals to keep the corpses in their morgues,” said Chand. Moreover, the government has not assigned any agency or department to look after corpses that are sent from abroad. Airlines concerned, carriers, the customs office and the police are jointly dealing with the cases. TIA General Manager Dinesh Shrestha said the TIA has a cooling system for two bodies. However, according to him, an overwhelming number of the bodies has created problems. He said his office is working to build a well-equipped morgue. “We used to receive three dead bodies on an average every day, but the number is on the rise. We got five to nine bodies every day in the last two months,” Executive Director of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board Girija Sharma said. The Board was established for the welfare of migrant workers and their families. Though it collects Rs 1,000 from each migrant worker for the welfare fund, the Board has often been criticised for ignoring migrants’ issues. “I was also told about the pollution created by the corpses. We will first inspect the site and take permission from other stakeholders, including the labour ministry, to set up a morgue or a cooling system,” said Sharma. nnnn


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