Preparations for the upcoming provincial and federal elections as well as debate on whether to hold both of them together continue to receive prime attention from media today as well. Likewise, the Supreme Court’s order to redo polling in ward 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City of Chitwan district has been covered in the front page by all major English and Nepali dailies published from Kathmandu today.
Holding both polls together difficult, but not impossible: CEC Yadav
Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav says holding elections for the Provincial Assembly as well as the House of Representatives at the federal level together will be difficult, though it is not entirely impossible.
Speaking at a function in Kathmandu on Sunday, Yadav set some preconditions for holding the polls together, reports Gorkhapatra. According to the news story, Yadav demanded that only two ballot papers be used for the polls instead of four: that is, one for the Provincial Assembly for both first-past-the-post and the proportional representation category; and another for the House of Representatives for both the categories. If different ballots would be used for different categories for different polls, one has to cast votes on four papers, and it would be practically difficult, he argued.
The Himalayan Times’ front page story says Yadav also pointed out difficulties in printing ballot papers and managing human resources for holding the polls together.
Bharatpur-19 to go to polls again
Concluding debates on whether to redo polling or recount remaining ballot papers in ward 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City in Chitwan district, the Supreme Court on Sunday ordered that the Election Commission redo voting in the ward.
Vote counting was halted in the metropolis after some CPN-Maoist Centre cadres allegedly tore as many as 90 ballot papers while the counting was underway around two months ago, says the front page story in The Kathmandu Post. The report, however, comments that the verdict created a public outcry with social media users expressing worry that the ruling might set a bad precedent on election.
Meanwhile, the CPN-UML commented that the verdict was unfortunate though it decided to accept the order, says the Kantipur lead story. The CPN-Maoist Centre, however, said the decision was very welcoming as it was made on the basis of existing laws.
Prime Minister’s 15-day deadline does not work on Kathmandu roads
Exactly 15 days ago, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had ordered concerned authorities to fix potholes on major roads of Kathmandu within next 15 days. However, the order did not work and the condition of roads continues to remain abysmal, according to the lead story in Republica.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers also accepts that the directive could not be fully implemented. However, it says the authorities worked very hard to solve the issue. “Despite many obstacles, we worked hard to fix the roads. But, we could not fix all of them,” OPMCM Secretary Chandra Ghimire has been quoted in the report.
The Project Implementation Department, the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport had worked together after the PM’s directive, according to him.
Kathmandu denizens living under swine flu terror
The lead story in Nepal Samacharpatra says hospitals in Kathmandu Valley have reported an increase in the number of patients admitted with symptoms of swine flu. In this season, three deaths have been reported due to the infection of H1N1 virus whereas some dozen patients are undergoing treatment at different health facilities in the Valley. The Kathmandu Post puts the death toll at two only.
After the death reports came out, Valley public have become cautious and they rush to hospitals when they catch common cold or fever, the Nepal Samarcharpatra report says on the basis of conversation with doctors at the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku. Besides Sukraraj, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and Grande International Hospital have also received patients at a large number, according to the report.
Meanwhile, health authorities have urged for caution and appealed to members of the public to report to hospitals if they experience any symptom, according to the anchor story in The Kathmandu Post.
India has not given a penny despite promise of Rs 100 billion
The Indian government had pledged to assist Nepal with Rs 100 billion for post-earthquake reconstruction, but has not released a single penny yet, says the anchor story of Naya Patrika.
The southern neighbour had promised to provide Rs 25 billion grant and Rs 75 billion subsidised loan. The Nepal Reconstruction Authority had planned to spend that money in reconstruction of schools, health posts and heritage sites of historical significance.
Meanwhile, the government is yet to sign agreements with various countries to receive as much as Rs 13 billion that they had pledged post-quake, the report informs.
Nepali traders appeal to Indian officials to improve Raxaul railway yard
Nepali traders have complained that condition of the railway yard in Raxaul of India, bordering Birgunj, has made adverse impacts on their business and demanded that Indian officials immediate improve it, according to the anchor story in Abhiyan daily.
While Regional Railway Manager Ravindra Kumar Jain was on a field monitoring on Saturday, the Nepali traders led a delegation to him and complained of old and insufficient infrastructures, heavy traffic congestion, high fine and difficult roads, according to the report.
In response, Jain said he would take initiatives to solve the problems.