सदाचार सूचकमा तीन अंक सुधार भए पनि नेपाल भ्रष्टाचार व्यापक रहेको मुलुकको श्रेणीमै

Posted Leave a commentPosted in POLITICS

ट्रान्सपरेन्सी इन्टरनेस्नलले बिहीबार सार्वजनिक गरेको विश्वका १ सय ८० देशको भ्रष्टाचार सूचकांकमा नेपाल ३४ अंकसहित १ सय १३ औं स्थानमा छ । गत वर्षको तुलनामा ११ औं स्थान माथि उक्लिए पनि भ्रष्टाचार घट्यो भन्ने अवस्थाचाहिँ छैन । ट्रान्सपरेन्सीले सार्वजनिक पदको दुरुपयोग तथा भ्रष्टाचारमा कारवाही, कर असुली सम्बन्धी निर्णय लगायत कारण माथि उक्लिए पनि राजनीतिक क्षेत्र गम्भीर नरहेकाले भ्रष्टाचार व्याप्त रहेको प्रतिवेदनमा उल्लेख गरेको छ । त्यति मात्र होइन, पैसाले राजनीतिलाई प्रभावित गरेको र राजनीतिक तह नै भ्रष्ट भइदिँदा नीतिगत भ्रष्टाचार मौलाएको देखाएको छ । यसअघि अख्तियारका प्रमुख आयुक्त नवीन घिमिरेले पनि संसदीय समितिको एउटा बैठकमा खर्चिलो निर्वाचन प्रणालीले भ्रष्टाचार बढाएको बताएका थिए ।  भ्रष्टाचारको मूल राजनीति नै रहेको उनको संकेत थियो । पैसा नहुनेले टिकट नै नपाउने, निर्वाचन खर्च उठाउन ठेकेदार र व्यापारीसँग मिलेमतो गर्नेदेखि अन्य अनैतिक काम गर्ने परिपाटी राजनीतिक तहमा व्याप्त छ । 

नेताहरूले व्यापारीसँगको अपारदर्शी सम्बन्धका आधारमा नीति, नियम र निर्णय गर्ने परिपाटी छर्लंगै देखिन थालेको छ । स्वार्थ समूहले नेतामाथि लगानी गरेर हुर्काउने र नेता शक्तिमा पुगेपछि तिनैको स्वार्थमा काम गर्ने प्रवृत्तिले लोकतन्त्रलाइ नै जोखिममा पार्न सक्ने चेतावनी अध्ययनहरूले दिएका छन् ।

अझ राजनीतिक तहबाट हुने भ्रष्टाचारलाई छानबिनको दायरामै ल्याउन नसकिने गरी कानुन ल्याउने र अख्तियारको क्षेत्राधिकार संकुचित गर्ने प्रयासले पनि सदाचारप्रति नेतृत्वको प्रतिबद्धतालाइ कमजोर सावित गर्छ । 

प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीको सम्झौतामुखी बाटोमा

Posted Leave a commentPosted in POLITICS

संसदमा करिब दुई तिहाई मत भए पनि सत्तारुढ दल नेकपामा सभामुखको उम्मेद्वार तय गर्न झण्डै एक महिनाभन्दा लामो रस्साकस्सी चल्यो । त्यसको एक मात्र कारण थियो, प्रधानमन्त्री एवं अध्यक्ष केपी शर्मा ओली र अर्का अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहालको आफू अनुकूलको व्यक्तिलाई सभामुख बनाउने अडान । अन्तिमसम्म प्रयास गरे पनि पार्टी समीकरण नै प्रतिकूल देखिँदा अन्तत प्रधानमन्त्री ओली पछि हट्न बाध्य भए । त्यसो त यसअघि मन्त्रीहरु फेरबदल गर्दा होस् वा पार्टी समीकरण मिलाउँदा, प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीले धेरै ठाउँमा सम्झाैता गर्नुपरेको थियो । नेकपाकै कतिपय नेताहरु भने पछिल्ला घटनाक्रमले सबै निर्णय आफूमा केन्द्रित गर्दा घेराबन्दीमा परिन्छ भन्ने पाठ प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीलाई सिकाएको बताउँछन् ।

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A Chinese cyber rumble in Kathmandu

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nation

By GYAN P NEUPANE

The arrest of 122 Chinese nationals by the Nepal Police in December last year reveals that groups committing major financial frauds are moving to South Asia from their traditional haunts in Southeast Asia. The December 23 raids last year by Nepal’s police were the biggest in over a decade and led to the detention of 122 Chinese nationals for overstaying their visas. The raids followed intelligence that the Chinese nationals were involved in “illegal activities” including “banking fraud.”

PM Modi and PM-Sharif meet in Kathmandu

In BIMSTEC, push for SAARC

Posted Leave a commentPosted in OPINION

November 27, 2014, was a special day for the region as it had paved a way to hold the talks between two major giants. The same evening, both leaders had a ‘personal chat’ in a reception hosted by Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in honor of visiting SAARC heads of states and governments.

PM Modi and PM-Sharif meet in Kathmandu

Following this historic handshake, it was thought the two countries would reopen the substantive talks and resolve all the differences. But soon the momentum fell. The effort Nepal had taken made no differences. The regional cooperation fell into stagnation, and the 19th SAARC Summit, scheduled for November 2016 in Islamabad, remains deferred indefinitely. India boycotted the summit alleging Pakistan’s hand in Uri terrorist attack. When Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan stood by India’s side, the possibility of Islamabad summit formally ended. The fate of the 19th summit hangs in balance now.

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China seeks to break Indian monopoly in Nepal on hydropower and other infrastructure development projects

Avoiding debt trap

Posted Leave a commentPosted in OPINION

GYAN P NEUPANE

Two months ago, my Sri Lankan friend at Pondicherry University told me: “Hambantota was an ambitious project for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was a development lover and he was in a mood to make his constituency a second largest city after Colombo.” He first approached India for this, which when it rejected, he turned to China. Rajapaksa begged China for development infrastructures in coastal land, explained.

The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is now world’s emptiest airport and the Mangampurna Mahinda Rajapaksa Port remains unused since its completion in 2013. The silent infrastructures resulted in heavy losses. The world came to know about it when last year China bought the same Hambantota port to operate for 99 years on lease.

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Following the Renjo, Missing the Gokyo

Posted Leave a commentPosted in TRAVEL

GYAN P NEUPANE

If you plan to trek Himalayan range to have exotic experience in life, Gokyo trail offers more than you would expect. The Rejo La commonly known as Renjo pass lies in an altitude of 5,360 meters in the middle of the trail, but it’s like a final destination. The reasons:  You have the majestic Himalayan range around you, and the Ngpzumpa glacier as well as Gokyo Lake in the background.

Renjo Pass

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Govt asks Kathmandu Valley municipalities to register company to operate large buses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nation

GYAN P NEUPANE

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: Four months after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced in the parliament to operate 100 city buses in major cities of the country, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has asked four municipalities based in the Kathmandu Valley to register a joint company to operate large buses across Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

On Sunday, the MoFALD issued a 15-day deadline for Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City, Madhyapur Thimi Municipality and Budhanilkantha Municipality to register a company, finalize their share of budget in the company, recruit necessary human resources and set up an office of the company to be headed by Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

The MoFALD has also asked these municipalities to submit details of the specifications of large buses to be operated in the Kathmandu Valley. 

While addressing the parliament meeting on September 8, Prime Minister Dahal had announced to operate 100 large buses in the Kathmandu Valley, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Bharatpur, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi, Pokhara, Surkhet and Ghorahi within the next six months. 

The government has planned to invest Rs 680 million for buying the 100 large buses. “The government has been preparing to hand over those buses to the company to be led by Kathmandu Metropolitan City and other similar bodies outside the Kathmandu Valley. Those companies will bear the operational cost of those buses,” joint secretary at MoFALD Jiwan Kumar Shrestha told Republica. 

Shrestha said they have provided all necessary documents to register a company as per the existing rules. He informed that the ministry has instructed the Kathmandu-based municipalities to register a company but for the municipalities outside the capital they will need to wait for some time.

“If we could make a successful operation in the valley, all the cities outside the capital will learn and they will start working on their own in this operation model,” he said, adding, “Initially, the government will provide around 50 buses to the Kathmandu Valley.”

According to Shrestha, the modality to operate the large buses in Kathmandu Valley has almost reached its final stage, but they are short of budget. “As the budget has not been released even as we wrote to the Ministry of Finance some three months ago, the deadline set by the prime minister in his announcement is likely to be missed,” he further said.

So far, Kathmandu Metropolitan has invested Rs 100 million in Sajha Yatayat. This cooperative public transport company has been operating 30 new buses in Kathmandu Valley with this investment.

First appeared in Republica

Locals’ participation helps speed up monuments reconstruction in Bhaktapur

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nation

GYAN P NEUPANE

BHAKTAPUR, Dec 29: Septuagenarian Saila Poju, a local of Byasi of Bhaktapur, has been constructing the wall of the historic Vatsala Devi Temple in front of the 55-Window Palace at Bhaktapur Durbar Square since the last two months. His son and some other locals have been helping the 72-year-old in reconstructing the temple, which was damaged by earthquakes last year.

Waking up early in the morning and making preparations for the reconstruction of Vatsala Devi Temple has been his daily routine for the last two months.

Before that, he successfully completed the task of reconstructing other few temples that had collapsed during the earthquakes in the same area.

“The Vatsala Devi Temple was constructed in its own style by using stones and other materials. Therefore it’s quite difficult to reconstruct it in the original design using the same materials,” Poju told Republica. 

The earthquakes damaged Poju’s home badly but he is busy in reconstruction and renovation of several historical monuments. “The third floor of my three-storey building collapsed during the earthquakes,” said Poju, who works on a daily wage basis for the reconstruction of the heritage sites. 

“I don’t have money to build my own house so I am working here because I can earn some money while reconstructing our own heritages.”

Forgetting their own wounds, people in Bhaktapur have been regularly working in reconstruction of the monuments in the historic city. The active participation of locals in reconstruction of the monuments gives some indication as to why the task of reconstruction in Baktapur is taking place speedily in comparison to other historic areas such as Patan Durbar Square and Kathmandu Durbar Square.

So far, Bhaktapur Municipality has almost completed reconstruction of nearly half a dozen monuments in the area. According to Ram Govinda Shrestha, who heads the Heritage Section at the municipality, about 90 percent of reconstruction works of the main gate, which is the main entrance to the Durbar Square, Tribikram Narayan Temple, Narayan Temple, Shankar Narayan Temple and the wall of Siddhapokhari that were damaged by earthquakes have been completed. Renovation of Bhimsen Temple and Laxmi Narayan Temple is also underway, he said.

“We are encouraging the locals for their participation in the reconstruction and renovation of our monuments because with their involvement they would realize ownership of the monuments,” he said. “This policy has helped us speed up the task.” 

The municipality started reconstruction of Shankar Narayan Temple within 10 months after the massive disaster while such work in other cities couldn’t start even after one and half years of the earthquakes.

“As we started the reconstruction of Shankar Narayan Temple, it gave an impression to the locals that the rebuilding of our properties has already been started and it can be done by ourselves,” he said.

However, the Department of Archaeology (DoA), on its part, has just started reconstruction and renovation works of few monuments in the same area and the work is in initial stage.

Rudra Singh Tamang, chief executive officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said that the working style of Bhaktapur Municipality is different than in other municipalities. 

“Although we are just about to complete reconstruction of a single monument, they [in Bhaktapur] have already finished over half a dozen monuments,” he said. “They have their own sets of rules and working style in renovation and reconstruction of historical properties.”

First appeared in Republica

Mandala found at Kasthamandap foundation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nation

GYAN P NEUPANE

KATHMANDU, Dec 24: Archaeologists of Nepal and from Durham University in the UK have found a mandala structure used for building the foundations of Kasthamandap Temple hundreds of years ago.

The Kasthamandap Temple before the earthquake. Photo Courtesy: Hanumandhoka.gov.np

Excavations show that the ancient builders of Kasthamandap not only used resilient construction methods but also provided the monument a symbolic configuration, creating a microcosm of the universe with a nine-cell mandala design out of brick walls.

“The team also excavated a deep trench within the central cell of the mandala … and identified a further nine-cell mandala formed by brick walls at a depth of 1.60 meters within this central area,” reads a statement issued by the team after completion of the two-month excavation.

Kosh Prasad Acharya, an archeologist and project co-director for the excavations, said that the design reflects the uniqueness of this ancient architectural art.

“The nine-cell mandala at the foundation level of the temple totally connects with the architecture,” Acharya said. “We have not found such mandala designs at the foundation of other Nepali monuments” 

Experts said this type of foundation was very famous in Nepali historical architecture and was mostly used for the construction of temples. But it was known only from the history books that several monuments in Kathmandu Valley and outside were built on mandala-design foundations.

“The mandala represents the universe and its use was compulsory for the construction of monuments in ancient times,” Sudarsan Raj Tiwari, a conservation architect and formerly of the Department of Architecture at Tribhuvan University, told Republica. 

He said that the word ‘mandap’ at the end of the name Kasthamandap means it had used the nine-cell mandala design at the foundation. He has included this argument in his book, ‘Temples of the Nepal Valley’, which was published in 2001.

“The name confirmed that it was built using a mandala design, and this has now been proved,” he said. 

The archeological team has also unveiled new dates for the construction of Kasthamandap. They argue that the temple was developed in two phases. “The scientific study shows that the temple was originally built in 700 AD,” said Prof. Robin Coningham of Durham University, who is also project co-director. “After two months of study, we now have a full understanding of the foundation and the development of Kasthamandap Temple.”

Coningham said the temple was remodeled in 900 AD and they created a complete nine-cell mandala at the foundation. According to him, Kasthamandap was built  in 700 AD and it involved constructing a large square area measuring 12 by 12 meters. “This foundation was one meter wide and two meters deep,” he said.

The study also explored the original date of Kasthamandap, which is 400 years earlier than traditionally thought. They further said that they have found traces of human activity dating back 2,200 years at the temple site. 

First appeared in Republica

Shuklaphanta timber for Kasthamandap reconstruction

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nation

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: The government bodies have taken initiative to use timbers from the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve of Far Western Region for the reconstruction of the historical Kasthamandap Temple.

The temple located on the premises of the Kathmandu Durbar Square was destroyed by the devastating earthquake of last year. The temple is one of the seven monuments enlisted in the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.

An official at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has been coordinating with the Dhangadi chapter of Timber Corporation of Nepal (TCN) and planning to visit there within a week for the same purpose. “We will go there and study whether the quality of timber that we need for reconstruction of the Kasthamandap Temple can be found there,” Kawindra Nakarmi, an engineer at the KMC, told Republica.

As the government had decided to provide the needed timbers to renovate and reconstruct historical monuments, the Department of Archaeology (DoA) requested the TCN to provide around 12,000 cubic feet of timber worth Rs 18 million.

“The Kasthamandap Temple was originally built by logs of Sal tree centuries ago,” Nakarmi said. “This time also, we are using Sal tree for its reconstruction.” He also said 20 percent old timbers of the temple can be reused as per the DoA’s study.

“Reconstructing historical monuments is not only rebuilding the structure but is also about preserving historical arts and culture for the future,” said conservationist and former joint secretary Bishnu Raj Karki, who is also a member of the Kasthamandap reconstruction committee. 

“If we won’t be able to reuse the maximum structures from the old one, we should choose strong woods to replace them for longevity of the historical temple.”

Birendra Kumar Yadav, general manager of TCN, said that it will supply the timber for the reconstruction of Kasthamandap through its Dhangadi-based office.

“We can manage those timbers from fallen trees at the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve of Far Western Region,” he said. A large number of trees have already fallen inside the Reserve and the TCN has said it can produce timbers of 177,000 cubic feet from those trees. “Those trees were fallen down by wind a year ago and the government has already allowed us to collect those timbers,” he said.

Yadav informed that the TCN is ready to provide timbers as demanded by the government for reconstruction or renovation of heritage sites. 

The TCN annually sells 500,000 cubic feet of timbers at the price of Rs 1,500 per cubic feet.

Earlier, the cabinet had directed the TCN last September to manage 800,000 cubic feet of timber for the reconstruction and renovation of historical monuments. “The government has demanded 800,000 cubic feet timber for the next five years and we will distribute 200,000 cubic feet annually for the next three years and 100,000 cubic feet annually for the remaining two years,” Yadav added.

First appeared in Republica