From the Kathmandu Press: Monday, August 28, 2017

Major English and Nepali broadsheet dailies published from Kathmandu on Monday have prioritised political issues over others. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s statement upon his arrival in Kathmandu from five-day state visit to India has received the most significant coverage in the press today. Likewise, issues related to preparations for upcoming local level elections in Province 2 as well as elections to the Provincial Assembly and the federal House of Representatives scheduled for November 26 have also received significant attention.


PM defends controversial amendment assurance

PM Sher Bahadur Deuba speaks with journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport, on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on the second day of his India visit had assured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would take initiatives to amend the constitution after mustering two-third majority from the parliamentary elections to be held later this year. The statement drew criticism from stakeholders in Nepal. Whereas the main opposition CPN-UML has sought the PM’s clarification over the statement in Parliament, some leaders within the ruling coalition as well have expressed dissatisfaction claiming the PM brought the internal issue abroad.

But, upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Sunday evening, the Prime Minister said he did not do anything wrong by talking about the amendment.

“We believe that the constitution should be amended to address the concerns of Madheshi people,” The Himalayan Times lead story quotes the PM as saying, “Can we not speak of our views on a particular issue?”

According to the report, the PM was apparently angry when a journalist asked for him for her response to the main opposition’s denouncement of his remarks. “There is no code as to what Nepali leaders should or should not speak in a foreign country,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PM said he visit was successful, according to Rajdhani.

95 parties to contest November polls

File image: Election Commission of Nepal

The deadline set by Election Commission for parties to get registered for provincial and federal elections to be held in November has expired on Sunday and total 95 parties have applied to contest the polls, reports Republica in its lead story for the day.

All major political parties including the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, which had boycotted the first and second phases of local level elections, have applied for registration. Likewise, the breakaway faction of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Democratic led by Pashupati Shamsher Rana has also applied for registration, according to the report.

Gorkhapatra quotes Election Commission spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma as saying that all political parties currently represented in Parliament have applied for registration.

Meanwhile, EC officials have told the government that they cannot begin poll preparations without getting the report of Constituency Delineation Commission, according to Republica.


Government to terminate contract with Melamchi pipeline contractor; project delayed further

Kathmandu denizens’ dream to drink water from Melamchi is likely to be deferred further as the government is planning to terminate the contract of the company involved in extending its pipeline in the valley, according to Nagarik lead story.

The government is preparing to terminate the contract of Indian company, JITF, after its consultant Doha Engineering Consultants concluded that the company was not doing its work satisfactorily, according to the report.

Secretary at the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, Bhim Upadhyaya, however, says that a formal decision about terminating the contract is yet to be made. “We have issued a warning to the contractor as it has failed to perform satisfactorily as per the contract,” he says the Project Implementation Directorate of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited can make an appropriate decision about continuing or terminating the contract after a discussion.

Nepal Police to handle immigration department

File image: Nepal Police headquarters

The government is planning to restructure the Department of Immigration and handing over its responsibility to Nepal Police, according to a front page story published in Annapurna Post.

The report claims that the government has concluded that t he Department under the leadership of bureaucrats could not effectively manage immigration offices and control border-site crimes.

Whereas Home Minister Janardan Sharma has expedited preparations for the restructuring, top officials at the Ministry including Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi are not satisfied with the plan.

The Department was handled by Nepal Police before 1990 as well. Former IGP Upendra Kanta Arya had been demanding that the police organisation be given an authority to manage the immigration, informs the story.


 Everest Base Camp has internet facility now

The Everest Base Camp also has internet facility now, according to the anchor story in Abhiyan. The Everest Link has taken the broadband connection to the base camp with an investment of Rs 20 million.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chhiring Sherpa, says his company had started studying possibility of internet connection since 2002 and actual works for the connection began in 2014. Hotel entrepreneurs, mountaineers and trekkers will benefit from the service most, according to him.

The report has claimed that the internet connection in the base camp area including Lukla, Khumbu, Chaurikharka, Khumjung, Khunde, Pangboche, Tengboche and Dingboche is faster than the service available in Kathmandu.

The service users, however, have to pay a high cost for the connection. Chief Technical Officer of the company, Chhehang Lama, says 100 MB data costs USD 200. Nepali customers, however, get Rs 100 discount in each package.


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