Construction of bridge over Mahakali river within five months

BHIMDUTTANAGAR, Sept 3: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Ramesh Lekhak, has said that construction task of a four-lane bridge over Mahakali River would be started within five months.

Speaking at a news conference organised by Nepal Press Union, Kanchanpur chapter, at Bhimduttanagar this morning, Minister Lekhak said that different processes including submitting a Detailed Project Report for the construction of the bridge to Indian government by Nepal were underway.

He said, “It will help in economic prosperity of the country after the construction of the bridge.”

On a different note, Minister Lekhak expressed the belief that the CPN (UML) will agree for the constitution amendment through talks and consensus.

Also the leader of the Nepali Congress, Minister Lekhak said, “Discussion and talks will be held among all political parties including the major opposition for the constitution amendment.” RSS

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Change and dispossession in western Nepal

In 2015-2016 a drought hit Nepal’s mid-west region. Farmers of Bajhang district found themselves caught in a tragedy of continuing food insecurity and poverty and were forced to migrate to Simikot, the headquarters of neighbouring Humla district, to look for work.

According to government, the drought – the worst in 40 years – has exacerbated the region’s economic vulnerability. But there has been little attempt to understand the causes of this insecurity, and more immediately, that of the drought itself.

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In west Nepal, a river basin is home to drought and poverty

In 2015-’16, a drought hit Nepal’s mid-west region. Farmers of Bajhang district found themselves caught in a tragedy of continuing food insecurity and poverty and were forced to migrate to Simikot, the headquarters of the neighbouring Humla district, to look for work.

According to government, the drought – the worst in 40 years – has exacerbated the region’s economic vulnerability. But there has been little attempt to understand the causes of this insecurity, and more immediately, that of the drought itself.

Far-western districts like Bajhang and Bajura and mid-western districts in the Karnali zone – Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Dolpo, Kalikot – have remained in the grip of persistent poverty. In 2011, Humla ranked highest in Nepal on the poverty index, a position it held even in 2001. According to the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2014, it was also among the lowest five districts in terms of education, and child nutrition and the overall Human Development Index.

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India’s river linking project is a huge disaster for Nepal

NEPALGUNJ, Aug 5: The ambitious river-linking project of India has turned out to be a huge disaster for Nepal, causing erosion of large chunks of land, loss of soil fertility and loss of habitat because of the subsequent flooding.

As a consequence of the Laxmanpur dam built on the Rapti river just across the border and the 22-km Kalkalawa embankment in the Bagauda area of India, over 2500 bigha of land in Nepal has been corroded, 4000 bigha of land has lost its fertility and more than 60,000 people have been directly affected by the floods.

“India has been constructing dams and embankments in the name of security of its land, thereby submerging Nepal. It is a serious breach of existing international laws,” Jagdish Bahadur Singh, the president of Laxmanpur Dam Victim Struggle Committee, said.

“Unfortunately, government of Nepal and stakeholders are mere spectators and have remained mum about the disaster resulted by the dam,” he said.

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Mahakali floodwaters destroy crops in Kanchanpur

MAHENDRANAGAR, July 22: Flood and incessant rain has quite troubled farmers in Kanchanpur these days. Vegetable farming has been badly affected in most of the areas especially in Dodhara-Chandani Municipality of Kanchanpur. The area, which is very well known for production of parwal (pointed gouard), is submerged in water following incessant rainfall in the last few days.

“We don’t know what to do. We are extremely worried as we are going to lose this season’s whole harvest to the floodwaters,” said a local farmer Padam Bahadur Khadka. He added that monsoon rain this year was intense than earlier. “Given the rainfall that we have had this season, I fear that we won’t be able to collect single parwal from our farms,” he lamented.

Flood has entered in over 60 bighas of land from the Mahakali River. Hundreds of farmers who were about to harvest pointed gourd pretty are now in lurch as their farms have submerged in water. “Our parwals are rotting and it’s stinking everywhere,” said Khadka.

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Nepal, India plan setting up energy bank

KATHMANDU: India and Nepal are planning to setting up an energy bank so that they can help each other to overcome the problem of power shortage .

The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Standing Committee, a bilateral technical mechanism on water resources, power and irrigation projects, which concluded yesterday.

The two countries have conducted informal discussions regarding the energy bank before, but this is the first time that Nepal has made a formal proposal, Kathmandu Post reported.

Answer to Nepal’s power woes lies in Koshi basin

American tourists Shana K and her husband Zulhk K were in for a shock when they found there was no electricity at the Janakpur airport for over an hour. But that’s a constant reality for most Nepalese who face a severe power crisis every day. However, experts say the grim situation can change if Nepal utilises its water resources fully, notably that of the Koshi basin which can generate 37 times more energy than what Nepal annually imports from India.

“Nepal has a huge hydropower potential, thanks to plenty of available water in the Koshi basin. But till date the water resources have not been utilised,” said Shahriar Wahid, programme coordinator, Koshi basin programme of Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

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Water can help boost regional co-operation

Kathmandu: Water not only connects India, Nepal and China but can also be used to promote regional collaboration among them to better manage their resources and reduce hazardous risks specifically in Bihar’s Kosi basin for sustainable development, says an expert at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) that is based here.

All three countries, India, Nepal and China,  have something to gain. Nepal can produce more hydro power, India can reduce its risk of flood damage and have fewer scheduled power cuts and China can improve its relationship with its neighbours – which opens up profitable trade opportunities.  Cooperation and proper supervision of water systems in China could mean improved lives and livelihoods downstream in Nepal and India. Latest research findings have shown that the glaciers in the region are retreating and glacial lakes are increasing

“Managing water resources for the livelihood of millions of people can play an important role to promote regional collaboration between India, Nepal and China in the Kosi basin,” Shahariar M. Wahid, ICIMOD’s Kosi Basin Programme coordinator, said here. Noting that the livelihoods of people are affected by increasing water politics, he said that technology transfer and exchange of scientific research among the three countries will help people living in the basin.

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”Hydropower key to Nepal”s growth, trade with India”

Hydropower is Nepal’s key to development and the country has an economically-viable potential of 40,000 MW of generation capacity of which it can export the surplus to neighbouring South Asian countries including India, an US government funding agency has said.

Developing sustainable hydropower generation will enable Nepal to balance its supply deficit in the dry season with the revenues made through exports during the season when river flows are high, US Agency for International Development said.

USAID said Nepal heavily depends on water resources to meet its energy demands as more than 90 per cent of its total electricity generation capacity is hydropower based.

“Hydropower plays a particularly important role in Nepal’s economic future because of the scale of its potential,” the agency said, estimating that Nepal has an economically-viable potential for more than 40,000 megawatts (MW) of hydropower generation capacity.

“If such potential is realised, it could easily meet Nepal’s suppressed demand and create a surplus that could be exported to neighbouring countries in South Asia,” it said.

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Watered down

Mar 18, 2016- For many Nepalis, the water resource issue instantly comes to the forefront as far as Nepal-India relations are concerned. They say the white gold that gushes down Nepal’s mountains and gorges—making up to 70 percent of the Ganga’s lean season flow—is what interests India the most in their country. Feeding this deep-seated belief is the worsening scarcity of water in many Indian states. And yet, water is one issue the two countries have not talked about in recent decades. Or, at least, it is not public knowledge.

“There wasn’t any talk on water separately,” Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at a press briefing during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Delhi visit last month. “There were talks on why there was no progress on Upper Karnali and Arun hydropower projects and they (the two prime ministers) discussed about Pancheswor as well,” he said when one journalist asked if anything was discussed on the sharing of water resources between the two countries.

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