From the Kathmandu Press: Monday, April 30, 2018

Two key issues that have received topmost attention on the front page of major Nepali and English broadsheet dailies published from Kathmandu are a Nepali Congress decision about its poll performance and an order of the Supreme Court about controlling encroachment of Phewa Lake in Pokhara of Kaski district, supposedly Nepal’s tourism capital. With the delay in the unification between CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, the issue is gradually losing attention. However, Nagarik lead story for the day talks about likely reasons and consequences of the delay.

Few other sociocultural and economic issues have also made it to the front page today.


Supreme Court orders Phewa encroachment cleared

File: Paragliding above Phewa Lake

Concluding that many illegal structures have been built on the shores of Phewa Laka in Pokhara, the Supreme Court has ordered the government to remove such structures at the earliest, reports The Himalayan Times.

A division bench of justices Om Prakash Mishra and Sapana Malla Pradhan handed down a verdict in response to the writ petition filed by advocate Khagendra Subedi, according to Gorkhapatra. The report says that the bench has ordered the government to implement a report prepared on the issue. Nagarik says the government has been ordered to launch another study and submit its report to the court.

Kantipur says the order will result in the demolition of structures constructed on 12,884 ropanis of land.

The government has also been ordered to give the status of protected area to the Lake for its conservation, according to Naya Patrika.

Deuba holds entire party, left alliance responsible for poll debacle

File: Nepali Congress Central Working Committee meeting

The main opposition party Nepali Congress concludes its Central Working Committee meeting on Sunday after holding discussions on the party’s humiliating performance in last year local, provincial and federal elections. The meeting has concluded that the entire party, including its CWC, and the alliance formation between major communist forces of the country were responsible for the defeat, according to newspaper reports.

Meanwhile, the meeting has decided to hold its Mahasamiti meeting after four months though factions led by Ram Chandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula had demanded that the meeting be called by June end, according to Naya Patrika.

Nagarik reports that party President Sher Bahadur Deuba is planning to appoint Vice-President, General Secretary and Joint General Secretary to give the full shape to the party today. Leaders close to Paudel will boycott the appointments as Deuba is planning to do so unilaterally, according to Rajdhani.


Rs 1.59 billion collected from phone users for Dharahara reconstruction

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addresses a function organised to mark the earthquake anniversary, at Dharahara, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

All phone users across the country have paid more than Rs 1.59 billion as ‘additional telecommunication service charge’ to rebuild Dharahara, a historic tower that collapsed during the 2015 earthquake, though actual reconstruction process is yet to begin, reports Republica in its three-column story today. Officials of the National Reconstruction Authority, the government body formed to supervise the entire rebuilding drive, has stated that it knows nothing about the collection of fund, the report says, adding the government immediately after the quake had decided to levy additional one percentage point charge on top of the 10 per cent TSC that every phone user has to pay for voice calls.

Settlement rate of foreign employment forgery low

Reports are rife about cheating and forgery in foreign employment sector. Government agencies receive dozens of complaints about such cases every month. However, their settlement case is very low, according to the anchor story in Karobar.

Only around 38 per cent of total complaints registered in past three years have been settled, the report informs quoting officials of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security.

Madhesh-centric forces warn of withdrawing support

A two-column story in Rajdhani reports that two major Madhesh-centric parties—Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal—have warned of withdrawing support extended to the government if the government fails to address their demand of constitution amendment among others.

To seek the support from these parties, the ruling coalition involving CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre had assured the parties of meeting their demands whereas they had also extended support to the Madheshi alliance-led government in Province 2, the report says, adding no discussion, however, has taken place in their regard.


New security law in the pipeline

File: Ministry of Home Affairs

The government is all set to table a new bill on the federal security arrangements reflecting the new political and administrative structure of the country, according to Annapurna Post. A Cabinet meeting held last week endorsed the bill prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs and it is now ready to be tabled.

The bill envisions various security bodies and mechanisms at federal, provincial and local levels.

Foundation stone for Arun III during Modi’s visit

Arun River

Karobar lead story for the day informs that the long-awaited Arun III Hydropower Project of 900 megawatt capacity will see the beginning of its construction after two weeks as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Nepal. The report says Modi and Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will go to the project site in Sankhuwasabha district and lay foundation stone for the project.

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