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  • Sunday, 25 February 2024

Framework of post-quake reconstruction after study

Published Date : January 20, 2024

Kathmandu, Jan 20: The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) has said that the framework for reconstruction in the earthquake affected areas will be decided only after studying the situation of the earthquake survivors and collecting suggestions.

NDRRMA chief executive officer Anil Pokharel said that the reconstruction will be carried out based on on-site study and suggestions from the quake survivors.

Accordingly, on-site monitoring and collection of suggestions have been started.

A team led by CEO Pokharel has reached the quake-affected areas and has started studying the situation since Friday. The team has been carrying out the study in Karnali. The team will reach Rukum West today and Jajarkot on Sunday to interact with the survivors and seek their suggestions.

Currently, the construction of temporary houses for the the earthquake survivors is underway.

CEO Pokharel said that after reaching the affected areas of both the districts a province-level discussion will be held in the capital Surkhet to reach to a conclusion.

The head of private housing and reconstruction unit of NDRRMA Prakashchandra Adhikari said that the team was deployed to get information about what kind of work is being done in the field and what are the complaints towards that end.

According to the information received from the NDRRMA, the beneficiaries of the Jajarkot earthquake have exceeded 79,000 so far.

Meanwhile, construction of 24,000 temporary housing units has been completed. Grant agreements have been reached with 50,000 families and 10,000 houses are under-construction.

Recharge ponds being constructed in community forest

Dhorpatan (Bagalung), Jan 20: The Gandaki province is to construct recharge ponds to protect water sources in the high hilly areas of Baglung Municipality. The initiative is being carried out through the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment.

Water sources in Rayadanda Halhale area of ward no -11 will be protected. The government has planned to bring water nearby by protecting and preserving the water source.

Minister of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Gandaki Dipendra Bahadur Thapa said that five hundred thousand rupees has been allocated by the provincial government in the current financial year to protect the water sources and build recharge ponds in various places.

This year four recharge ponds will be constructed in Damek of Jaimini municipality-3, Resh in Kathekhola rural municipality-7, Rayadanda and Tityang of ward no. 9, Sigana of ward no. 8 and Bhakunde of ward no. 10 in Baglung municipality.

According to Minister Thapa, studies have been conducted to protect the water source in the Halhal area, which is about 2,200 meters above sea level. This year the province government has allocated budget for the construction of recharge ponds in all 11 districts.

As the water sources are drying out the problem of drinking water is increasing in many places. Recharge ponds in the middle of the forest will also provide water to the wildlife  while water sources are protected along with the forests, Thapa said.

Discussion on the draft of Sanitation and Hygiene Bill in Karnali

Karnali, Jan 20: A discussion on the draft of the Karnali Province Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bill was held in Birendranagar, Surkhet on Friday.

On the occasion, Minister for Water Resources and Energy Development Urmila Bishwakarma expressed her commitment that the opinions, suggestions and advice from the discussion will be included in the draft.

The bill should be formulated in such a way that it does not conflict with and also does not duplicate the federal law, she said.

Likewise, President of the Municipal Association of Karnali Province, Hasta Bahadur Pun, emphasized that only the laws that resemble the social, economic and geographical uniqueness of the region will benefit the people of Karnali.

President of Karnali Province Association of Rural Municipalities, Nim Bahadur KC, said that it is necessary to create a law so that the right over resources belongs to the local level. He emphasized that laws should be made in accordance with local compatibility and the uniqueness of Karnali as the local government is the implementing agency of any law.

Joint Secretary at Water Resources and Energy Commission Secretariat Kalanidhi Paudyal insisted that any law made in the country should be simple, comprehensible and enforceable, and all-side cooperation is necessary in the implementation of the laws.

Deputy Director General of the Water and Sanitation Department, Madhav Bhandari, argued that Karnali would be treated unfairly if the decisions are made at the federal level.

Secretary of the Ministry of Energy Development, Navin Chandra Adhikari said that policy, structure, representation and linguistic issues raised on the draft will be addressed.

Senior Divisional Engineer of Karnali Province, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Urban Development, Ramesh Subedi, made a presentation on the process of drafting, its legal basis, stages and the blueprint of the bill.

Secretaries/representatives of the relevant ministries, heads of local levels, journalists, water supply and sanitation experts, people with disabilities, heads of indigenous federation, industry and commerce, hoteliers and other stakeholders attended the discussion.

More than 27,000 quake survivors received first installment

Jajarkot, Jan 20: A total of 27,091 people have received the first installment of grant support for temporary housing in Jajarkot.

Out of 42,524 survivors, 27,091 victims have received the first installment, according to a statement issued by the District Administration Office.

Altogether 4,642 of the 6,634 suvivors of Bheri Municipality, 7,150 of 8907 of Nalgad Municipality, 2,188 out of 8,205 in Chedagad have received the grant assistance, said Administrative Officer of the District Administration Office, Harishchandra Sharma.

In Barekot, out of 5,586, 4,687 and among 5,287 families of Kushe rural municipality, 4,154 families have received the first installment of temporary housing grant assistance. Similarly, the first installment has been provided to 1,113 families out of 5,406 in Junichande Rural Municipality. The first installment has been provided to 3,147 families out of 3,309 survivor families in Shivalaya Rural Municipality.

Currently, only 10,159 families are living in temporary structures, with 32,365 families still living under tents.

CPN-US campaigns for general covention

Kathmandu, Jan 20: The CPN (Unified Socialist) is going to conduct a campaign focused on its general convention from coming February 8.

As part of the campaign programs such as organization strengthening, membership distribution, documentation of political and social activities and training will be conducted.

The party is going to hold its national general convention next May has instructed its subordinate committees to renew party membership for all the leaders who are coming to participate in the upcoming second central council meeting to be held in Kathmandu on January 28 and 29. The statue amendment draft is going to the discussed n the meeting.

Party office secretary Jeevanram Shrestha shared that the draft statute will be finalized based on feedback from the subordinate province and district committees. The draft has been sent to the province and district committees for collecting feedback and suggestions.

The party has called a meeting of the statute drafting committee on January 22.

Meanwhile, the party has instructed to mobilize the party rank and file to ensure the victory of the candidates of the ruling coalition in the upcoming National Assembly elections.

CM Chaudhari underlines need of result-oriented projects

            Deukhuri, Jan 20: Chief Minister of Lumbini Province, Dilli Bahadur Chaudhari, has underlined the need of result-oriented projects. Investment must ensure success, he said during a consultative workshop organized by Province Planning Commission here Friday.

            He further viewed government not only keeps close watch on investment but also on its result and relations to economic prosperity. “Where there is mobilization of resources, its progress need to be measured,” he said, suggesting the Planning Commission to pay heed to this aspect.

            The province government is for creation of jobs for each household so that it would earn at least Rs 30 to 40,000 per month, according to him. Even the report of the investors could be changed by the State mechanism to adjust the need, he reminded.

            Vice Chairman of the Province Planning Commission, Dr Nahakul KC, informed that they were working actively for policy reform in line with province’s plan for prosperity.

Wild animals translocated to sanctuary

            Jhapa, Jan 20: The animals and birds rescued from different places have been translocated to a sanctuary made by Jamunbadi community forest of Kankai municipality in the district.

            The modern and nature-friendly sanctuary was built at the cost of Rs 20 million. The Koshi Province government and the community forest jointly collected the amount for the establishment of rescue centre.

            The animals and birds rescued from different places are now translocated to the sanctuary, according to Khem Sitaula, Chairman of Forest Consumers’ Committee. There are more than two dozens of wild animals and birds. Currently, two dozens of spotted deer are released in it, he added.

            The sanctuary covers 10 bighas of land, which is spacious enough for animals’ mobility and frolicking. Earlier, it was narrow, but has been expanded for adequate space to the animals.

            The wild animals and birds rescued from Ilam, Taplejung, Panchthar and other districts are given shelter here.

            The Jamunbadi community forest is popular as an open zoo since 2065BS. There are spotted deer, does, python, bears, Himalayan vulture, tortoise, and antelope, among others, Sitaula shared.

            The income generated from the community forest is utilized for management of the sanctuary. The tourists are imposed the fee Rs 100 to visit the park inside the community forest.


            The injured wild animals are brought to this sanctuary with the help of Division Forest Office, Nepal Police and locals. The endangered wildlife is paid special attention.

19.5 km blacktopped under Muglin-Pokhara road expansion

            Damauli, Jan 20: Under the ongoing Muglin-Pokhara road expansion project, 19.5 km road has been blacktopped. The blacktopping is done from Anbukhaireni to Bandipur of Tanahu district.

            Engineer mobilized under the project, Bishnu Prasad Pande, informed that among the blacktopping, there is a two-way pitch in 7.2 km distance.

            The blacktopping is now undergoing at Baradi section. It would be carried out on both sides, he added.

            The locals and travelers had complained that dusty road had caused sheer inconvenience.

            Similarly, a motorable bridge in arc design is being constructed over the Madi River. The bridge, connecting Byas municipality ward no 4 and 5 is constructed at the cost of Rs 210 million.

            The Muglin-Pokhara road expansion project is going on with contracts in two phases.

‘Guterres Point’ under construction at Pumdikot 

            Gandaki, Jan 20: Anyone visiting Pokhara can not remain unaffected, seeing the bewitching mountains surrounding the valley. The Machhapuchhre peak’s shadow in the Phewa Lake further mesmerizes the tourists.

            In a recent past, the ace tourist destination in Nepal welcomed a special foreign guest. It was the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. He got opportunity to see the snow-clad mountain during his visit in Pokhara.

            Guterres was lucky that he greeted with snow-clad mountains and clear sky as he climbed up the Pumdikot hill from the Pokhara Valley on October 30, 2023.

            Pumdikot, which is being developed as a site of religious tourism of late, was not in Secretary General’s schedule, but he climbed up from the valley to have better look in the vicinity. He entered the premises of the colossus of Lord Shiva, watched the Phewa Lake down in the valley and sighted the majestic mountains.

            The onlookers could easily observe the elation exuded on Guterres’ face upon the relish of natural beauty.

            Guterres had reached there at 4:30pm and standby were Mayor of Pokhara metropolis, Dhanraj Acharya, and coordinator of Mahadev colossus construction campaign, Chandra Kant Baral. They were accompanied by Chairman of Ward No 22 of Pokhara metropolis, Him Lal Baral.

            The special guest stepped toward south west corner of the colossus premises. He was as if stuck to the nature’s beauty he was observing from there. He also went upstairs. After he came down the stairs, he again went to the same south west corner and stuck his eyes to the mountains!

            Those standing in line to Secretary General Guterres’ welcome were observing him closely.

            Later, the people here concentrated on the south west premises of that colossus Mahadev and decided to develop it as a ‘Guterres Point’.

            The Pumdikot Development Committee has now decided to develop the south west corner of the religious spot as ‘Guterres Point’, according to Committee Chairman Chandra Kant Baral.

            From the south west corner of the Shiva colossus, ridges of snow-clad mountains can be viewed. As many as 11 peaks including the Annapurna I, II, III and IV, Khangsarkang, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Ghandruk Himchuli, and Mardi are some to enchant the visitors.

            As the UN Secretary General visited Pumdikot, the local here have been encouraged and excited to further develop the place as a modern tourist destination. Baral further said they were happy to welcome special guest in their town, which could help make Nepal further known to the world.

            Guterres however spent only 45 minutes at Pumdikot, said another Rudra Paudel, manager of Pumdikot Development Committee.

            The 51-feet tall giant statue of Lord Shiva built at Pumdikot with active participation of the public has become an attractive tourist destination of Pokhara at present. The Committee initially had set the target to build 105-feet tall statue but following the recommendation of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the Committee installed 51-feet statue, paying heed to concern of aviation security.

            Committee’s Chairperson Baral gushed that the influx of tourists-both domestic and foreign, was on rise at Pumdikot with the installation of the statue. To build the colossus along with other infrastructures incorporated in the Master Plan, over Rs 260 million was invested so far, informed Baral.

            The Committee has taken forward works as per the Master Plan of Rs 400 million estimated cost for the installation of the giant statue and construction of other infrastructures at Pumdikot.

            Visitors there, 13-km away from the major city in Pokhara, could soak up the panoramic view of Pokhara Valley, Phewa Lake and various mountain ranges, such as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchre among others besides the gigantic statue.

            Considering the growing attraction towards the Lord Shiva’s colossus at Pumdikot, the Committee is confident that Pumdikot would be established as the second most important pilgrims’ site after the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

            With the objective of fund-raising to harness tourism potential here, a religious event, mahashiva purana, was organized in 2017 where 20 ropanis of land was received in donation along with Rs 60 million. Another mahayagya organized in 2022 had raised around Rs 30 million funds for tourism promotion at Pumdikot, shared Baral.

            The Committee is accelerating the remaining works of the Master Plan according to which administrative building, monorail and Shivalinga, replica of Sumeru mountain nearby Guru Maharaj Ashram and entrance among others have been constructed.

            Moreover, plan is afoot to install electric chair car connecting Kailash, where the statue is erected, with replica of Sumeru mountain and to construct a well-organized parking place, according to the Committee.

            The Committee envisions building Shanti Ashram, senior citizens meeting centre and a garden. Installation of a projector to project the deeds of Lord Shiva and life cycle of animals through the laser light to the visitors is also in the agenda of the Committee.

            Committee member Matrika Baral claimed that Pumdikot had become a must visit destination for the visitors arriving in Pokhara. The arrival of VIPs and distinguished visitors, including Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres last October at Pumdikot has immensely excited the local residents and helped promote its global recognition.

            The colossus of Lord Shiva at the foothill of Machhapuchre mountain has further added to the charm of Pumdikot. With the installation of enormous statue of Lord Shiva, the glory and dignity of Pumdikot has assumed a greater height.

            More and more infrastructures are being built, drawing tourists and pulling the migrated local residents back to their village.

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Meeting between PM Dahal and Sri Lankan President

            Kathmandu, Jan 20: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe have held a meeting in Kampala, Uganda.

            The bilateral meeting was held in course of their participation at the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit which is being held in Kampala.

            PM Dahal stressed bilateral cooperation for regional cooperation and mutual interest reasoning that Nepal and Sri Lanka had similar stand on non-aligned foreign policy.

            A common role could be played for making SAARC dynamic, PM Dahal said, hoping that dynamism of SAARC could help foster regional cooperation and common interest.

            In response, Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe assured that Sri Lanka was ready to cooperate for making SAARC active. He also underlined need of Nepal-Sri Lanka cooperation for regional interest and common economic benefits, according to PM Dahal’s secretariat.

            Also attending the meeting together with PM Dahal were Foreign Minister NP Saud, PM’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Rupak Sapkota, Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal and officials from Foreign Ministry.

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Locals worry over fading glacial lake

            Nabin Lamichhane/RSS

            Manang, Jan 20: Kalu Ghale, born and grown up at Bhraka village of Ngisyang rural municipality-5 in the upper Manang, turns nostalgic seeing weird changes in nature.

            The glacier that arrives at his doorstep and the splendid nature are the matters of past. “The Gangpurna Lake located at the height of 3,820 meters has gradually turned into an arid land,” he said expressing utmost despair.

            If the lake had persisted, it could help attract tourists, but in vein.

            Ghale reminds, “Even the Swiss geologist Toni Hagen had photographed the Gangapura Lake in 1957 and used to bear for publicity. Since then, the lake has been made a base of further study on geological structure and climate change impacts here.”     
    

            Nearly nine-km long glacier is receding every year. It has been studied by foreign research centre as well.

            According to Shalik Ram Sigdel, one among the research team, the climate change, unusual avalanche and rainfall were causing existential threat to the lake.

            Similarly, a Visit-Manang campaigner Phurba Tamang said although new lakes like Tilicho and Gangapurna were being explored in Manang of late, the conservation of Gangapurna Lake must be kept in priority. The glacial lake, which is being studied for half century, should not be tuned out.

            A team of local tourism campaigners including Phurba had found a new lake located 25 meters away from Chame. It was named Kajinsara Lake. Although the lake was publicized as the one located even above the Tilicho Lake, a scientific verification is awaited.

            In view of the researchers’ warning over the extinction of the lake and changes in nature, the rural municipality has allocated Rs 30 million to restore pristine lake.

            Chairman of Ward-6 of Ngisyang rural municipality, Sonam Gurung, shared that even a notice was issued for it. The silted up lake is being dredged now, he added.

Police ramps up use of multiple technologies in crime investigation

            Kathmandu, Jan 20: The Nepal Police has adopted the policy of leveraging on state-of-the-art technology in crime control, crime investigation and traffic management, thereby steadily achieving the desired results.

            The use of modern technologies has helped police prove the authenticity of the evidence in the court when the accused ones deny their wrongdoings, according to the police.

            Spokesperson at the Kathmandu Valley Police, SSP Dineshraj Mainali, shared that the Nepal Police has proceeded with its works in line with the policy of utilizing technology to optimize their performance. Considering the important role of modern technology in crime investigation, police have been maximizing the practice lately, said SSP Mainali.

            The Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Samakhusi, Kathmandu examines the evidences collected during the investigation of crimes. The lab has been conducting scientific testing and analysis of chemicals and narcotic drugs, explosive substances, toxicology, DNA, controversial documents, footprint and fingerprint analysis and scientific examination of photos among others, it was shared.

            Also, polygraph machine is used to test whether the accused or suspected ones are lying or not. Postmortem is conducted at the Forensic Department of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and district hospitals to find out the cause of the death- due to murder and others.

            The police have also digitalized many of its services to facilitate the service seekers. The police report can be accessed online within few days from any parts of the world, according to DIG Bhim Prasad Dhakal, also the Central Spokesperson of the Nepal Police.

            Police have also its App through which the public could notify the police about the crimes. Similarly, public can also play the role of ‘police without uniform’ by informing the police about criminal activities through the toll numbers such as 100, 103 and 104, said SSP Mainali.

           
            To minimize road accidents and for effective traffic management, the traffic police has put in place CCTV camera, traffic light, street lights, road signs and signals, road marking, radar gun, breath analyzers, drug detection kit, GoPro camera, voice recorder among others, informed Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office’s Spokesperson Rajendra Prasad Bhatta.

            Efforts are underway to introduce vehicle scanners and other technologies at the main checkpoints on the Kathmandu Valleys. Altogether 10 Automatic Number Plate Recognization Camera are in use in the valley apart from 170 CCTV cameras.

            Also, face-reading cameras have been installed in 10 places, camera with video management based on AI have been installed at 150 places for effective traffic management, said Spokesperson Bhatta.

Govt. collects Rs 3.15 billion in royalty from hydel projects

      Kathmandu, Jan 20 : The government has collected Rs 3.15 billion plus in royalty from different hydropower projects that are in operation.

      The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been collecting the royalty amount on a regular basis as it keeps the royalty amount while paying the power developers for using their power.

      Likewise, the Electricity Development Department has asked some power developers to deposit the royalty amount as they were yet to clear their dues till the fiscal year 2079/080 BS, Department’s Director General Chiranjivi Chataut said.

      The projects failing to clear their dues would be charged by writing to the NEA. As per the provision, the royalty amount would be provided to the affected communities at the local level.

      The Department has collected Rs 1.15 billion from license fees, Rs 8.7 million from penalty and confiscation and Rs 4.2 million from arrear. The Department collected Rs 4.31 billion plus in revenue in the fiscal year 2079/080.

      Likewise, the Department has collected Rs 595.5 million in royalty till the first six months of the current fiscal year while the amount from licensing is Rs 162.4 million.

Four journalists feted with Govinda Biyogi award

      Nuwakot, Jan 20: The Govinda Biyogi Journalism Award, 2080 has been presented to four journalists, including senior journalist and former chairperson of the RSS Kul Chandra Wagle.

      At the Biyogi journalism award distribution and felicitation programme hosted by the Editors’ Society Nepal here today, news chief of Yoho Television Jibram Bhandari, editor of Trishuli Prawaha Sharan Utsuk Sapkota and journalist Montessori Rajbhandari were honoured.

      Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat had handed over the award. The Society honoured Wagle and Rajbhandari in recognition of their substantial contributions to the promotion of journalism sector. Likewise, Bhandari was provided with the Govinda Biyogi Journalism Award carrying a purse of Rs 25,000.

      Journalist Sapkota bagged the Govinda Biyogi Special Journalism Award carrying a purse of Rs 15,000.

      Recalling the contributions of Biyogi to the journalism sector, Finance Minister Dr Mahat pledged to extend financial assistance next year for the management of a building of the Govinda Biyogi Journalism Study Centre.

      Also speaking on the occasion, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Chairperson Bipul Pokharel drew the government’s attention towards enhancing journalists’ skills and capacity, increasing wages and removing complications in advertisement.

      He stressed the need of establishing the Mass Communications Academy for honing journalists’ skills and capacity. Wages have not been reviewed in every two years. The government needs to address the issues”.

      Chairperson of Minimum Wage Fixation Committee, Sangeeta Khadka urged the government to address the demand of increasing wage of working journalists.  Speaking after felicitation, former Chair of RSS Wagle underlined the need of collaborative efforts for addressing the challenges surfaced in journalism sector. He called for devising measures for enhancing capacity and ensuring financial safety of journalist for promoting journalism with critical awareness.

      General-Secretary of the Society, Shyam Dotel said training for new generation journalists was a mist for enhancing quality journalism in the country. — 

House demolition begins in Damauli for Muglin-Pokhara road expansion

      Tanahun, Jan 20 : Demolition of houses along the eastern section of Muglin-Pokhara road has begun in Damauli Bazar area, the district headquarters of Tanahun.

      Out of a total of 70 houses to be demolished, 45 families have started demolishing themselves after receiving first installment. Engineer Bsishnu Prasad Pandey of Muglin-Pokhara eastern section said that the second installment will be paid after demolishing the house.

      According to him, around Rs 60 million will be spent to compensate the houses in Damauli market area. “If everyone takes the first phase of compensation, 60 per cent will be distributed,” he said, adding that the houses in Damauli market area are expected to be demolished within the next one-and-a-half months.

      According to him, work would be carried out in Damauli Bazar area after expansion of the road from Dumre Bazaar area in Bandipur rural municipality of the district. He said that the project is urging them to demolish the house, holding meetings from time to time and encouraging the municipality to demolish the house as the owners themselves are demolishing the houses.

Govt charting out good governance roadmap-Acting PM Khadka  

      Narayangadh (Chitwan), Jan 20 : Acting Prime Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka said the government was in preparation to chart out national action plan with governance road map.

      Inaugurating the three-day trainers’ training hosted by Nepali Congress Training Academy Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta East) at Gaidnakot today, he said the government would announce a plan of action with governance roadmap within a month.

      “The service recipients would free from the hassles in accessing public services in two or three months following the rollout of this campaign. The government in turn would gain public trust”, he added. The acting PM claimed that service recipients have felt respite with gradually improving service delivery from government offices. The government he said has stepped up its efforts to resolve the problem of landless and haphazard settlement, he added.

      Khadka also shared that the government was working to reduce revenue in a way to minimize economic burden among the people. Also speaking on the occasion, NC central member Govinda Bhattarai said NC had a lead role in formulating policies in the country. NC had worked with remarkable plan in different time but due to lack of the management of performance data other parties are taking the credit.

      As many as 45 NC frontline cadres from all local Palikas of Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta East) are taking part in the training, informed Balkrishna Ghimire, NC Nawalpur Training Academy Chief.

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NAM importance further realized in changing world-PM Dahal    

      Kathmandu, Jan 20: It is a matter of happiness for Nepal to participate in the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit hosted in Kampala of Uganda as a founder country. It is immensely important as the conference was organized when several problems have seriously come to the fore in the globe.

      The NAM conference has been organized in the context of geo-political complexity, Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine wars, COVID pandemic impacts on the global economy, climate change-induced challenges and problems facing the Least Developed Countries.

      In order to address these challenges, Nam should take initiative and leadership. The importance and essence of NAM has further increased than before.

      The western countries have made several pledges but not yet adhered to the commitments. Their commitments to ensure welfare of LDCs or address the climate changed induced problems have yet to be translated into actions. Rather several problems have emerged instead. Against the backdrop, NAM should increase its lead role and blow its voice stronger. The United Nations should be enabled to move ahead accordingly.

      Nepal is the founder member of NAM. The organization was founded in the conference held in Bandung in 1955 AD. Since then, Nepal has been playing active role in NAM. Nepal’s commitment to the movement is intact. With this in context, Nepal can further its pivotal role in NAM. NAM should be further empowered. The NAM came to an existence in the special circumstance of the cold blood war. Even more serious and complicated issues have surfaced in the world now than that were in the cold ward time.

      The essence of NAM has further increased in the changed context. It has been realized to make it further effective and empowered. The non-alignment movement should not be viewed in connection with cold war. Raising voice and struggle against the hegemony of colonialism, neo-colonialism and powerful countries is equally important at the moment as well. In this context, the essence of NAM has further increased.

      In the NAM Summit, majority of the head of the governments and states have collectively expressed increasing essence of NAM. It has been realized that voice should be raised in favour of the people, equality and social justice through NAM. 

      Some of the founding members of the NAM have also progressed well. They have achieved remarkable success in technology and economy. We also have to deepen mutual cooperation among them. The spirit which existed during the establishment of the NAM should be maintained even at present. No country should exhibit their dual policy but should make their position clear. The organization having more than 120 countries also comprises some developed ones from the third world. If all these countries raise their voices in an integrated and organized approach, they can do a lot for peace, stability and bright future of humankind, as expressed in the thoughts and commitments in this NAM Summit.

      War and peace has always been a challenging issue in the history of human civilization. When the call for peace vibrates worldwide, those calling for war should revert in one or the other way. The threat of war could be prevented if the NAM raised the voice for peace from all over the world. During my speech in the NAM Summit I said that I have come from the country of Lord Buddha, the champion for peace, to appeal for peace. Wherever wars have happened should be transformed into peace through talks and dialogue. Being the land of birth place of Gautam Buddha, Nepal has a huge responsibility to take initiative and make appeal for global peace.

      The President of the United Nations General Assembly also made a crucial appeal and commitment in the NAM Summit. This shows its direct influence in the United Nations. A great contribution could be made to create environment conducive for the world peace by making appeal by the NAM member countries and United Nations in a collective manner.

      As a member of the NAM, Nepal had a special responsibility. We have discharged our responsibility to again advance NAM in a strong, integrated and centralized way. Nepal and Nepalis can take pride for this. The entire world has listened to our appeal well. Our appeals made in the 19th NAM Summit, UNGA, COP-19 and UN Foods System Summit have given highly positive impacts. We have realized that Nepal is known, understood and heard, which is a matter of pride for Nepal and Nepalis.   

      (Based on the conversation with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ who is in Kampala of Uganda to take part in the 19th NAM Summit)

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Minister Jwala instructs to expedite construction of Beni-Jomsom-Korala road section

      Myagdi, Jan 20: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala has directed the stakeholders to expedite the development of Beni-Jomsom-Korala road section of the national pride Kaligandaki corridor. 

      During an inspection visit to the site on Saturday, Minister Jwala directed the contractors to speed up the construction jobs adding that ‘everyone’s attention is drawn to the dillydallying in the national pride Kaligandaki corridor’.

      The Minister shared that the monitoring was done to explore the key reason behind the slow progress in the project and assured to hold discussions soon with the concerned bodies to ensure speedy construction of the road section.

      Minister Jwala, who arrived here along with Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management of Gandaki Province Resham Bahadur Jugjali and other officials from the federal and province governments, visited the landside-hit areas at Baisari and Sirubari in Raghuganga Rural Municipality-2, Myagdi.

      The estimated cost of the project is Rs 7.55 billion and a total of Rs 6 billion plus has already been spent till the last fiscal year. So far, 85 kms of the road section has been graveled and 19 kms is blacktopped and 18 motorable bridges and three belly bridges were also completed, Project Chief Dhruba Jha said.

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Coordination among three-tier government needed, Lamichhane says

      Bharatpur, Jan 20: President of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Rabi Lamichhane has said that coordination among the three layers of government was needed to carry out the development works in the country.

      Visiting the Thimura bridge along the border line of Chitwan and Tanahun districts on Saturday, President Lamichhane said development works could be completed in time only through coordination.

      He also argued that development would achieve results through collective efforts of all that are taken without considering the partisan interests. On the occasion, RSP Vice-President and lawmaker Dr Swarnim Wagle said that they were framing the plan for the country’s development and added that poor performance of the projects is the result of poor governance.

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