Nepal Today

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SEVEN MEMBERS OF FAMILY KILLED IN TAPLEJUNG LANDSLIDE UPDATE Kathmandu, 5 June: Seven members of a family were killed bya landlide in Taplejung overnight. Search and rescue teams have reached the village to find dead and missing. MORE 15 INJUREDIN MORANG CLASHES Kathmandu, 6 June: Sixteen police and locals were injured in clashes Wednesday at Letang, Morang. Workers of Limbuwan Federal Council clashed with police as voters’i9dentity cars ad citizenship cards were being distributed for constituent assembly elections. nnnn VICTIMS OF MAOIST BUS BOMBING DEMAND JUSTICE NOT GOVT. DOLE Kathmandu, 6 June: Families of those killed and injured in Badarmudhe incident in Madi of Chitwan eight years ago have refused the government-declared special programme and demanded that guilty be brought to book, Surya Prkaash Kandel writes in The Himalayan Times from Narayangadh. . Badarmudhe victims have turned down Rs 6 million allocated for them under a special programme by the government. Badarmudhe Victims’ Struggle Committee Chairman Mukti Neupane said they refused the government-announced relief as it was appropriated for the development of the village and that victims of the incident could not use the fund of their own volition. “Badarmudhe victims want punishment to those who are guilty of such a heinous crime; they do not want such an eyewash,” Neupane said. The Ministry for Peace and Reconstruction had sent a letter to Chitwan Development Committee three months ago, authorising it to use the fund in the current fiscal year for the conflict-hit area. The ministry had approved Conflict-hit Area Special Programme Operation Procedure on 6 December 2011 and it was put into implementation on 28 February 2013. While inaugurating Madi Festival a few months ago, Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had announced that the government would provide Rs 6 million to Badarmudhe victims. Neupane said the government-announced programme was not in line with what Dahal had promised. The ministry has asked the DDC to run programmes to increase agriculture productivity and construct physical infrastructure in the conflict-hit area. The letter sent by the ministry has directed the DDC to implement the programmes through the consumers’ committee. Consumers are expected to bear 20 per cent expense for the execution of the development works. Badarmudhe victims said June 6 was a black day in their lives and that they would, on the anniversary of the bloody incident, like to demand punishment to the guilty, not the relief. On 6 June 2005, the then CPN-Maoist had attacked a commuter bus at Badarmudhe of Kalyanpur VDC in Madi, Chitwan, in which 38 people, including three Nepali Army soldiers, were killed. A total of 75 people travelling in the bus were injured. Of the injured, three more had died later. Recalling the bloody incident, Krishna Adhikary of Ayodhyapuri VDC said he was badly injured in the incident. “I am still suffering from back problem and cannot walk long distances even today. Neither the government nor the Maoist party has come forward to help us,” Adhikary said, adding that only bringing the guilty to book will mean justice to the victims. He demanded that the government form the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the earliest and do justice to the victims. Nnnn Kathmandu, 6 June: The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has demanded review of the lease contract of its 1,162 ropanis (61.15 hectares) of land with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal., Bishnu Prasad Aryal writes in The Himalayan Times. The PADT and CAAN signed the contract on January 7, 1983 for 99 years, according to the PADT documents. The CAAN agreed to pay 23 pathis (one pathi=3.2 kg) of paddy per ropani of land to the PADT each year. Interestingly, both the PADT and the CAAN are autonomous government bodies under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). CAAN has dealt the PADT land with third parties on contracts, earning millions of rupees, said the PADT officials. “The CAAN has given our land to a golf club and private companies. However, we are paid very low compared to the present value,” they said. CAAN has used PADT land for domestic and international terminals of Tribhuvan International Airport, which occupies 3,020 hectares. Of the total airport area, 61.15 hectares is PADT’s. Narottam Baidya, PADT treasurer, said PADT Council has recently decided to forward the procedure to review the contract. Joint-secretary Bharat Mani Subedi, chief of the Culture and Heritage Division at the MoCTCA, also said that the issue of reviewing the contract has been raised seriously. A meeting chaired by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ram Kumar Shrestha and held on May 28 discussed the issue of reviewing the contract. Minister Shrestha is chairman of both the PADT and CAAN as a sitting minister. Baidya said Minister Shrestha was interested in reviewing the deal. “We will forward the decision to the MoCTCA asking to review it after a decision is minuted.” Baidya said the Office of Auditor General (OAG) questions about the deal every year. “It has asked us to review the contract rationally,” he claimed. “The OAG has also questioned about arrears of land given on contract to the Tilganga Institute of Opthalmology,” he added. “We want to help both of the institutions, but the contracts should be based on a win-win situation.” Joint-secretary Suresh Acharya, chief of Aviation Industry Management Division at MoCTCA, said he has no idea about the deal. “If the PADT forwards e documents to the ministry, we will look into it.” “Then, we will forward files to the CAAN for further action. The PADT and the CAAN are the ones that should seal the final deal,” he added. The 99-year deal was signed during the period of main priest Padam Naabh Shastry of the Pashupatinath Temple and Shiva Sharan Rajbhandari, chief of Pashupati Area Reformation and Development Committee. Tilganga pays nothing Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology has not paid anything to PADT for about two decades despite an agreement to pay 20 per cent of the hospital income, according to PADT. A lease contract on five ropanis of land between PADT and Tilganga Eye Care Hospital was signed on September 21, 1992, with the hospital agreeing to pay 20 per cent of its profit to PADT. The hospital has used five ropanis of land on lease for 20 years. “We have not got a penny from the hospital in about two decades,” said PADT treasurer Narottam Baidya. Dr Sanduk Ruit, executive director of the Tilganga Institute, said, “We are incurring losses and thus unable to pay the agreed amount.” nnnn


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