आजको समाचार

आजको समाचार

         

 

    

  • थानकोटमा बिजोग : जाडोले काम्दै, फुको चिउरा चपाउँदैथानकोटमा बिजोग : जाडोले काम्दै, फुको चिउरा चपाउँदै
    १५ वैशाख, काठमाडौं । लकडाउनको एक महिना बित्दा काठमाडौंमा मजदुर र विद्यार्थी अलपत्र परेको खबरपछि स्थानीय तहहरूले आफ्ना नागरिक धमाधम गाउँ फर्काउन थालेका छन् । दर्जनौं गाडी साँझ कोटेश्वर र कलंकीबाट छुट्छन् । सरकारले अघोषितरुपमा गाडी खोलिदिएका कारण दैनिक हजारौंले काठमाडौं छाडिरहेका छन् । यसैबीच आइतबार विराटनगरबाट सात वटा बसमा हिँडेका काठमाडौंवासी सोमबार बिहान पाँच बजे नागढुंगा आइपुगे । उनीहरूलाई चाहिँ सरकारले त्यहीँ रोकेर राख्यो । विराटनगर महानगरपालिकाको सिफारिसमा आएका उनीहरूको समूहमा दूधे बालबालिकाहरू पनि थिए । दिउँसो मुसलधारे पानी परेपछिको जाडोमा काम्दै उनीहरू चन्द्रगिरि नगरपालिकाको २ नम्बर वडा कार्यालयले बाँडेको फुको चिउरा खाँदै थिए । त्यही भिडमा रहेका छुमलाल माझी थारुले ६ वर्षकी छोरी र उनकी श्रीमती सरस्वतीले ७ महिनाकी अर्की छोरी च्यापेका थिए । करिब एक सयको हाराहारीमा रहेका सबै सडक किनाराको बन्द सटर छेउमा ओत लागेका थिए । मुसलधारे पानीको बाछिटाले भिजिरहेका छुमलाल र सरस्वती आफ्ना नानीहरू जोगाउने ध्याउन्नमा थिए । पुर्खौली घर विराटनगर गएर आएका उनीहरू अहिले बालकुमारी निवासी रहेछन् । मुटुको बिरामी जेठी छोरीलाई गंगालाल अस्पतालमा देखाउने मिति भ्याउन जोडबल गरेर आउँदा बिजोग भएको छुमलालले बताए । लकडाउन सुरु हुनुभन्दा दुई दिनअघि उनीहरू विराटनगर पुगेका थिए । त्यसपछि उनीहरू लकडाउन खुल्ने आशामा बसे । त्यसबीचमा स्थानीय तहहरूले गाडी काठमाडौं पठाएर धमाधम आफ्ना मान्छे ओसार्न थाले । विराटनगर महानगरपालिकाले पनि त्यहाँ थुनिएकाहरूलाई पठाउने खबर गरिरहेको उनीहरूले सुने । त्यसरी उनीहरू थानकोट आइपुगेका थिए । थारु दम्पतीसँगै छिन्, सिन्धुपाल्चोक मार्मी घर भएकी फुलमाया तामाङ । विरानगरमा व्यवसाय बन्द भएपछि उनलाई घर जान मन लाग्यो । त्यहाँको वडा कार्यालयको सिफारिस लिएर तीन वर्षकी छोरी तेन्जिङ तामाङलाई लिएर उनी काठमाडौं आइन् । उनी अहिले थानकोटमा अलपत्र परेकी छिन् । कार्यालयले बाँडेको चिउरा र कालो चियाले भोक मेटाउनुपर्दा तेन्जिङ निन्याउरी देखिन्छिन् । काठमाडौंको मूलपानी घर भएका भुवन बस्नेत बुबा सारै बिरामी भएको खबर पाएर ४ कक्षामा पढ्ने छोरा संस्कारलाई लिएर लकडाउन अघि विराटनगर पुगेका थिए । बुबा बितेपछि उनी काजकिरियामा बसे । १३ दिनको काम सक्दा लकडाउन थपियो । काठमाडौं घर भएकाहरूलाई विराटनगर महानगरपालिकाकै समन्वयमा पठाउने भएपछि उनी पनि छोरासहित बस चढेका थिए । सेतो पहिरनमा उनले बाहिर जेपायो त्यही खान पनि मिल्दैन । त्यसमाथि छ, नाबालक छोराको चिन्ता । ‘घर त्यहीँ पर छ । जान दिँदैनन्’, बस्नेतले भने, ‘काठमाडौंमा थुनिएकाहरू विराटनगर जान हुने, उताबाट यता आउन नहुने, सरकारको नियम पनि बुझिसक्नु भएन ।’ देशका अन्य भागबाट आएकाहरूलाई पनि प्रहरीले थानकोटमै रोकेको छ । चप्पल कारखाना घर भएकी रञ्जना हमाल आफन्त बितेकाले लकडाउनकै बेला सीडीओ कार्यालयमा पास बनाएर धनगढी पुगेकी थिइन् । फर्किँदा भने उनलाई थानकोटमा रोकियो । बनेपा घर भएका रमेश प्रसाईं पनि थानकोटमा चिउरा चपाउँदै बसेका छन् । उनी घरिघरि प्रहरीलाई ‘अब हामीलाई के गर्नुहुन्छ ?’ भन्दै सोध्छन् । प्रहरी निरीक्षक आफूलाई केही जानकारी नभएको र माथिको आदेश कुरिरहेको बताउँछन् । उद्योग, वाणिज्य तथा आपूर्ति राज्यमन्त्री मोतीलाल दुगडको गाडी चालक पनि यहीँ रोकिएका रहेछन् । घरमा जरुरी काम परेर स्कुटरबाट नुवाकोट पुगेका उनी फर्किँदा रोकिएपछि मन्त्रालयका अधिकारीहरूलाई फोन गरिरहेका थिए । त्यही समूहमा रहेका बझाङका विष्णुराज जोशी खानेपानीसम्बन्धी एउटा परियोजना सम्बद्ध रहेछन् । कामको सिलसिलामा विराटनगर पुगेका उनलाई लकडाउनले एक महिना त्यहीँ रोकेछ । ‘हाम्रो गाउँपालिकाले काठमाडौंबाट आफ्ना मान्छे लैजान थालेको सुनेर आएको, प्रहरीले यहीँ रोकेका छन्’, उनी भन्छन्, ‘जान दिने, आउन नदिने, अनौठो नियममा परियो ।’ लडकडाउनमा विराटनगरमा फसेका खोटाङका हेमन्त श्रेष्ठ पनि यताबाट सजिलो हुने देखेर काठमाडौं हुँदै आएका रहेछन् । ‘म काठमाडौं बस्ने नै होइन, खोटाङबाट कोटेश्वर आउने गाडी चढेर गइहाल्थेँ,’ उनी भन्छन्, ‘यो जाडोमा यसरी फुको चिउरा चपाएर कसरी बस्नु ?’ काठमाडौंका सीडीओ, काठमाडौं प्रहरी परिसर प्रमुख, ट्राफिक प्रहरी प्रमुखका साथै नेपाली सेना र सशस्त्र प्रहरीका अधिकृतहरू आएर स्थिति अवलोकन गरे । त्यसपछि प्रहरीले दर्जनभन्दा बढी गाडी जताबाट आयो उतै फर्काइदियो । यो समाचार तयार पार्दासम्म एक सयभन्दा बढीको समूह थानकोटमै अलपत्र छ ।
  • महँगोमा सामान बिक्री गरेपछि भाटभटेनीलाई जरिवाना
    १५ वैशाख, काठमाडौं । वाणिज्य विभागले टंगालस्थित भाटभटेनी सुपर मार्केटलाई तीन लाख रुपैयाँ जरिवाना गरेको छ । उपभोक्तालाई अधिकतम खुद्रा बिक्री मूल्यभन्दा बढीमा सामान बिक्री गरेको भन्दै सोमबार जरिवाना गरिएको विभागले जनाएको छ । उपभोक्तालाई बढी मूल्यमा बस्तु बिक्री गरेको गुनासो आएपछि सोमबार विभागले सुपर मार्केटमा अनुगमन गरेको थियो । कैफियत फेला परेपछि उपभोक्ता संरक्षण ऐन २०७५ अनुसार जरिवाना तिराइएको विभागका अनुगमन निर्देशक सागर मिश्रले जानकारी दिए ।
  • काठमाडौंबाट आएकालाई २१ दिन क्वारेण्टाइनमा राखिने
    १५ वैशाख, डोटी । काठमाडौंबाट सोमबार गृहजिल्ला आएका डोटीका ७३ जनालाई २१ दिन क्वारेन्टाइनमा राखिने भएको छ । बन्दाबन्दी -लकडाउन) का कारण काठमाडौंमै अलपत्र परेकाहरुलाई स्थानीय तहहरुले पहल गरी घर फर्काएका हुन् । काठमाडौं जिल्ला प्रशासन कार्यालयको सवारी पास लिएर आइतबार प्रस्थान गरेका बा५ख २८६१ र बा५ख २८७३ नम्बरका दुई बसबाट उनीहरु सोमबार डोटी पुगेका जिल्ला प्रहरी कार्यालय डोटीका सूचना अधिकारी प्रहरी निरीक्षक कर्ण बोहराले जानकारी दिए । सम्बन्धित स्थानीय तहहरुले नै व्यवस्थापन गर्ने गरि उनीहरुलाई क्वारेन्टाइनमा राखिने डोटीका प्रमूख जिल्ला अधिकारी टेकनारायण पौडेलले बताए । सुदूरपश्चिम प्रदेश सरकार र जिल्ला प्रशासन कार्यालय डोटीलाई कुनै जानकारी नदिइ ती व्यक्तिहरु एक्कासी डोटीको बुडर पुगेपछि आफूलाई खबर आएको प्रमूख जिल्ला अधिकारी पौडेलले बताए । डोटी भित्रिएकाहरुमा पूर्वीचौकी गाउँपालिकाका ३४, बोगटान फुडि्सल गाउँपालिकाका १९, केआईसिंह गाउँपालिकाका ९, आदर्श गाउँपालिकाका ७ तथा शिखर नगरपालिका र दिपायल सिलगढी नगरपालिकाका २/२ जना रहेको प्रहरीले जनाएको छ । डकडाउनका बेला काठमाण्डौबाट डोटी ल्याइएकोमा स्थानीयहरुले मिश्रति प्रतिक्रिया दिएका छन् ।स्थानीय तहहरुले राम्रो काम गरेको कतिपयको बुझाइ रहेको छ । कतिपयले यसरी बाहिरबाट मान्छेहरु ओसार्दा कोरोना संक्रमणको जोखिम बढ्ने भन्दै यसो नगर्नसमेत आग्रह गर्छन् ।
  • कांग्रेस र समाजवादीसँग डा. लोहनीले गरेको सहमतिप्रति कमल थापाको विरोधकांग्रेस र समाजवादीसँग डा. लोहनीले गरेको सहमतिप्रति कमल थापाको विरोध
    १५ वैशाख, काठमाडौं । राष्ट्रिय प्रजातन्त्र पार्टी (राप्रपा) का अध्यक्ष कमल थापाले आफ्नो पार्टीले सरकारविरुद्ध संयुक्त संघर्ष वा मोर्चाबन्दी गर्ने कुनै निर्णय नगरेको बताएका छन् । नेपाली कांग्रेस, जनता समाजवादी पार्टी र राप्रपाका नेताहरू सम्मिलित बैठकले सोमबार लोकतन्त्रवादी शक्तिहरूले एकताबद्ध भएर संघर्ष गर्ने प्रतिवद्धतासहितको तीनबुँदे विज्ञप्ति आएलगत्तै थापाले यस्तो असहमति सार्वजनिक गरेका हुन् । विज्ञप्तिमा राप्रपाका तीन अध्यक्षमध्येका एक डा. प्रकाशचन्द्र लोहनीले हस्ताक्षर गरेका छन् । यो पनि पढ्नुहोस सरकारविरुद्ध विपक्षी तीन दलको मोर्चाबन्दी, ‘सर्वसत्तावाद’विरुद्ध लड्ने बाचा लोहनीको हस्ताक्षर लगत्तै अर्का अध्यक्ष थापाले राजनीतिक ध्रुवीकरण गरेर अस्थिरता सिर्जना गर्नु उपयुक्त नहुने धारणा सार्वजनिक गरेका हुन् । ‘सरकारका स्वेच्छाचारी गतिविधि र अधिनायकवादी प्रवृत्तिको राप्रपाले सशक्त विरोध गर्दै आएको छ । भविष्यमा पनि गरिरहने छ’ अध्यक्ष थापाले टि्वटरमा लेखेका छन्, ‘संकटको वर्तमान घडीमा राजनीतिक ध्रुवीकरण गरेर अस्थिरता सिर्जना गर्नु उपयुक्त हुँदैन, दलहरूबीच मोर्चाबन्दी गर्ने/संयुक्त संघर्षमा जानेबारे राप्रपाले कुनै निर्णय गरेको छैन ।’ पार्टी एकतापछि राप्रपामा थापा, डा.लोहनी र पशुपति शमशेर राणा अध्यक्ष छन् ।
  • भारतका प्लाज्मा दाताको कहानीभारतका प्लाज्मा दाताको कहानी
    काठमाडौं । कोरोना भाइरस (कोभिड–१९) को महामारीले विश्व आक्रान्त छ । अहिलेसम्म यसको उपचार पनि पत्ता लागेको छैन । त्यसैले प्लाज्मा थेरापीबाट उपचार परीक्षण सुरु गरिएको छ । यसले धेरै मानिसहरूलाई ठिक पार्न सकिने अपेक्षा छ । अहिलेसम्मको नतिजा पनि सकारात्मक छ । भारत सरकारले पनि निको भएर घर फर्किएका कोभिड–१९ का बिरामीलाई प्लाज्मा दान गर्न आग्रह गरिरहेको छ । तर, धेरै कारणले मानिसहरू प्लाज्मा दान गर्न आउन मानिरहेका छैनन् । त्यसका लागि केहीले भने आफूले प्लाज्मा दान गर्नुका साथै अरूलाई पनि यो कार्यका लागि प्रेरित गरिरहेका छन् । यस्तै एक दाता हुन् गुजरात अहमदावादकी सुमिती सिंह । कोरोना भाइरसलाई जितेकी सुमिती अहिले अरू बिरामीलाई बचाउन प्लाज्मा दान गरिरहेकी छिन् । फिनल्याण्डबाट भारत फर्केकी उनलाई कोरोना भाइरसको सामान्य लक्षण देखिएको थियो । उनलाई मार्च १८ मा अहमदावादको सरदार वल्लभभाइ पटेल अस्पतालमा भर्ती गरिएको थियो । उनी मार्च २९ मा निको भएर घर फर्किएकी थिइन् । उनलाई अक्सिजन र भेन्टिलेटरको आवश्यकता परेको थिएन । डाक्टरले हटाइदिए आशंका उनी निको हुँदा प्लाज्मा थेरापीको अहिलेको जति चर्चा थिएन । साथै, यसको परीक्षण सुरु पनि भएको थिएन । तर, फलोअप चेकअपका लागि १४ दिनपछि अस्पताल जाँदा डाक्टरले उनलाई अरू बिरामीलाई सहयोग गर्न सक्ने बताएका थिए । सुमिती अरूलाई सहयोग त गर्न चाहन्थिन् । तर, उनको मनमा विभिन्न किसिमको आशंका थियो । प्लाज्मामा कोरोना भाइरसविरुद्ध लड्ने एन्टिबडी हुन्छ । यो दान गर्दा आफ्नै शरीरमा एन्टिबडी कम हुने त होइन ? प्लाज्मा दान गर्दा दुख्ने र अन्य समस्या हुने त हुँदैन ? यसको निडलबाट कुनै संक्रमण त फैलिने होइन ? भन्ने जस्ता धेरै प्रश्नहरू उनको मनमा आइरहेका थिए । डाक्टरले उनको सबै प्रश्नको जवाफ दिए । डाक्टरले उनलाई शरीरले धेरै एन्टिबडी बनाउने र दान गर्दा त्यसको केही हिस्सा मात्र दान गरिने बताए । साथै, यो रक्तदान जस्तै प्रक्रिया रहेको पनि उनले बताइदिए । यसमा प्रयोग हुने निडल नयाँ प्रयोग गरिन्छ । जसको कारण संक्रमणको जोखिम पनि कम हुन्छ । ५०० एमएल प्लाज्मा दान आफ्नो सबै प्रश्नको जवाफ पाएपनि अरूको ज्यान बचाउने प्रयास स्वरुप सुमितीले प्लाज्मा दान गर्ने निर्णय गरिन् । समग्र प्रक्रियाको लागि ३० देखि ४० मिनेट लाग्यो र उनको शरीरबाट ५०० एमएल प्लाज्मा निकालियो । यसअघि उनले रक्तदान पनि गरेकी थिइनन् । उनको लागि यो सबै प्रक्रिया नयाँ थियो । सजिलो प्रक्रिया सुमितीका अनुसार सुरुमा उनको रगत परीक्षण गरियो । जसमा उनको शरीरमा एन्टिबडी छ कि छैन, हेमोग्लोबिन कति छ, एचआईभी, हेपाटाइटिसजस्ता रोग छ कि छैन भनेर परीक्षण गरिन्छ । सबै कुरा ठिक भएपछि शरीरबाट रगत निकालिन्छ । निकालिएको रगत ट्युबमार्फत एक मेसिनमा जान्छ । त्यसले रगत र प्लाज्मालाई छुट्याउँछ । त्यसपछि रगत शरीरमा नै फिर्ता पठाइन्छ । प्लाज्मा पहेँलो रङको हुन्छ । कोरोनाबाट निको भएकाले गर्न सक्छन् प्लाज्मा दान प्लाज्मा दान कोरोना भाइरस निको पार्नका लागि गरिन्छ । त्यसैले त्यसका लागि प्लाज्मामा एन्डिबडी हुनु जरुरी हुन्छ । यस किसिमको एन्टिबडी एकपटक कोरोना भाइरस लागेर निको भएका मानिसमा मात्र विकास भएको हुन्छ । त्यसैले निको भएका संक्रमितलाई यसका लागि चुनिन्छ । तर, यसमा दिने मानिसको स्वीकृति अनिवार्य हुन्छ । एकजना मानिसबाट निकालिएको प्लाज्मा दुईजनाको उपचारमा प्रयोग गर्न सकिने बताइएको छ । स्रोत ः बीबीसी


  • Five persons involved in black-marketing of lentils arrested
    BARA: Five persons including a reputed industrialist have been arrested for alleged black-marketing of lentils amid the nationwide lockdown, on Sunday evening. Those arrested have been accused of overpricing and selling a kind of lentil, seeing the lockdown as an opportunity to be involved in such an unethical and illegal activity. Prior to the lockdown, the lentil was priced between NRs 80 and NRs 85. The arrestees are believed to have sold the lentil priced between NRs 94 and NRs 98, which is a case of black-marketing. The accused persons have been currently remanded in custody at the District Police Office. Meanwhile, further investigation into the case is underway, said police spokesperson Gautam Mishra. The post Five persons involved in black-marketing of lentils arrested appeared first on The Himalayan Times.
  • Bangladesh garment factories reopen, while India looks to ease its lockdown
    NEW DELHI/DHAKA: More than 500 garment factories in Bangladesh that supply to global brands reopened on Monday after a month-long shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while India considered ways to scale back its vast lockdown to reduce economic pain. Some of the world’s biggest clothing firms including Gap Inc , Zara-owner Inditex and H&M source their supplies from Bangladesh, which allowed garment manufacturers in the capital Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong to resume work from the start of this week. “We are making sure the workers wear masks, wash hands at the entrance, undergo temperature checks, and maintain physical distancing,” said Mohammad Hatem, vice president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Bangladesh is home to around 4,000 garment factories employing 4.1 million workers, and industry groups for the sector had warned that the shutdown that began on March 26 could cause the country to lose $6 billion in export revenue this financial year. Competitors such as Vietnam, China and Cambodia have already resumed operations, Hatem said. Bangladesh reported nearly 500 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday to take the total to 5,913 of whom 152 have died. While the country has allowed garment and other factories to reopen, much of the rest of the economy is still shut down and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told government officials on Monday that schools and colleges may have to remain closed until September if the situation did not improve. “We will reopen educational institutions when the situation improves,” she said. INDIA SAYS VIRUS FAR FROM OVER In India, where a strict shutdown for its 1.3 billion people is due to end on May 3, Prime Minister Narendra held talks with the chief ministers of the country’s 28 states to decide on what restrictions should be kept in place. Modi said the risk from the virus was far from over, although India had been able to save thousands of lives because of its extended lockdown, a government statement quoted him as saying. India has reported 28,379 confirmed infections of the coronavirus, according to government data on Monday, the highest number in Asia after China. So far 886 people have died, nowhere near the levels the United States, Italy and Spain have suffered. Health experts say India is testing far less per capita than many countries and the virus is lurking undetected. Still, a surge in hospitalisations has not happened across the country, strengthening the case for lifting some curbs. “(The) Prime Minister said that we have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID -19,” the government statement said. India‘s economy, which was already growing at its slowest pace in years before the pandemic struck, could contract in the fiscal year that began in April, private economists say, making jobs even more scarce for its young population. One way out of the 40-day lockdown would be to allow the least-affected parts of the country to return to activity while keeping a tight lid on hot zones which include major cities Mumbai and Delhi, officials said. Neighbouring Pakistan also sought to reduce the economic pain, saying it will pay the electricity bills for 3.5 million small businesses for the next three months as part of a 50.69 billion rupees ($316.56 million) package. The government has extended a nationwide lockdown until May 9. However, it is switching to a “smart lockdown” with targeted tracking and tracing of cases while allowing some industrial and commercial activities to resume under safety guidelines. The outbreak continued to spread through the Indian Ocean island nations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Sri Lanka reported 45 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, all of them navy personnel, after it surfaced in a base near the capital Colombo earlier this month. A quarter of the country’s 567 cases are from the navy, according to government figures. The Maldives also reported a spike in cases, mostly among migrant workers living in packed dormitories in the capital Male. The country has 200 confirmed cases, the government said, a large number of them Bangladeshi migrant workers. The post Bangladesh garment factories reopen, while India looks to ease its lockdown appeared first on The Himalayan Times.
  • Towards a brighter, cleaner future
    KATHMANDU: One of the lesser known victims of the Covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping the planet was the inaugural Sagarmatha Sambaad (the Mt Everest Dialogue), a biennial global multi-stakeholder forum initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal to address issues of global, regional and national significance. The summit, which was to be held in Kathmandu from 2 to 4 April, but cancelled as a result of the pandemic, was due to focus on the other principal issue of our day: climate change. In these troubled times, the issue of climate change has for now quite naturally taken a backseat as humanity faces up to a more immediate crisis and one which is stretching the resources of our governments and societies to breaking point. Drawing comparisons between the two major crises of the beginning of the 21st century may seem strange at such a time but if anything the current health crisis requires us more than ever to take stock of the key issues that affect our lives and ensure that we are better prepared for the future. Both the pandemic and climate change are global phenomena with varying more localised impacts that result from the way we live. Both underline the fragility and uncertainty of our world. While the impact of the virus remains unknown, at least with climate change we know that the earth is warming and temperatures are rising, and rising faster in mountainous regions such as the Himalayas. How much and how quickly remains unclear for now. Climate change in the Himalayas is the subject of a multitude of ongoing and past studies as scientists across the world seek to understand the impact of global warming on water supply in the region’s major river basins and its consequences on economic and social development. The High Mountain Asia region, comprising the Himalayas, is home to 25% of the world’s population, and, with about 100,000 km2 of glaciers, is also host to the largest volume of ice storage outside the polar region. It is also, according to a study published this year in the journal Nature, host to three of the planet’s five most important water towers, a term used to describe the water storage and supply that mountain ranges provide to sustain environmental and human water demands downstream. According to this global water tower index, these three water towers, comprising the Ganges- Brahmaputra, Indus and Tarim Interior river basins, are also among the most vulnerable to water stress, governance, hydro-political tension and future climatic and socio-economic changes. But what does it mean for Nepal? The impacts of climate change are undeniable and remain highly uncertain. However, contrary to common misconception, numerous studies show that global warming is in fact likely to have a positive impact on river flows in Nepal for the rest of the century in spite of the accelerated retreat of glaciers and the unpredictability of future rainfall. Studies by leading hydrologists, such as Professors Walter Immerzeel of the University of Utrecht and Patrick Ray of the University of Cincinnati, project that river flow volumes will actually increase slightly this century and that the impact of rising temperatures will likely see a shorter dry season as snow melt will precede the arrival of the wet season. The relevance of these findings is of particular importance to the development of the country’s untapped hydropower potential. For Nepal, located at the heart of this region, water is arguably its greatest natural resource and one that needs to be utilised to ensure self-sufficiency in water, energy and food supply. By extension, hydropower, if developed sustainably, is its most bankable resource and its derived revenue is vital for the country’s economic and social development. The large hydropower potential of the country is currently under-utilised with just 2% of its estimated technical potential developed to date. This is to change. The Nepalese Government has adopted a Low Carbon Energy Strategy that envisages replacing polluting imported fossil fuel energy through the electrification of all sectors of society and the economy, from household energy use to transport and industry, based on full development of its indigenous, clean hydropower potential. Government ambitions to develop some 15,000 MW of new hydropower or more over the next 10 years or so will allow Nepal to more than meet domestic electricity demand, enabling surplus power production to be exported to India and even Bangladesh. Within Nepal, the development of these hydropower projects will generate a cascade of benefits for the wider society through long-term employment and associated infrastructure. Within and outside its borders, it will also play a critical role in the future energy transition, helping to balance variable energy from renewable sources like solar and wind, which will replace polluting fossil-fuel energy. The combination of a reliable domestic electricity supply and hard currency revenues from exports of hydropower will most importantly for Nepal drive economic growth and support vital investment in the country's basic infrastructure from hospitals to schools to water supply systems that will in turn raise living standards. Electricity has become an indispensable commodity; no more so than now for hospitals that rely on it to treat those infected with the virus. The rapid spread of the virus across the planet and our largely uncoordinated response provide important lessons for the future. More than ever, they underline the need for a coordinated global approach to the critical issues of our day, for more research to better understand the issues that affect us all and for better planning and preparation. Like the virus, climate change, and the natural resources we share, know no borders, and this demands a common unified approach to mitigate the impacts of growing climate and hydrological variability and ensure resilience for the future. The development of hydropower across the Himalayas must take the physical environment into greater consideration and pay greater attention to environmental sustainability, according to Professor John Reynolds of the UK. For example, hydropower projects in the Arun Valley will require not only the management of water resources of the entire river system from the headwaters in Tibet, through Nepal and northern India into Bangladesh and ultimately into the Bay of Bengal, but also that of sediment and geo-hazards. This will require countries to work together for the benefit of all. By designing and building climate resilient hydropower projects that take into account all of these factors, Nepal and the region can look forward to a brighter, cleaner future. Martin Burdett is a freelance journalist specialising in hydropower and dams. [email protected] The post Towards a brighter, cleaner future appeared first on The Himalayan Times.
  • Highlights: Health Ministry’s April 27 COVID-19 media briefingHighlights: Health Ministry’s April 27 COVID-19 media briefing
    KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in its regular press briefing, shared the latest COVID-19 updates from across the country, as of today. As many as 10,471 laboratory tests (through Polymerase Chain Reaction method) have been carried out in the country to detect COVID-19 infection in order to curb its spread. It was made public that 43,063 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) — to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood sample — have been run across the country, till date. The total number of testing through PCR and RDT methods to scout the patients of COVID-19 infection has now reached 53,534 with 2,184 tests being run in the last 24 hours. Spokesperson Devkota shared that as many as 3,471 and 11,961 tests have been run in Province 5 and Sudurpaschim Province, respectively. At present, there are 20,195 people under quarantine in various facilities across the country among which 230 and 11,202 persons have been quarantined in Bagmati province and Province 5 respectively. Furthermore, 106 persons are in isolation. Among those isolated, eight are in Kathmandu valley while the remaining 98 are outside. The government-established helpline call-centres (1115/1133) have answered 2,119 queries regarding COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Likewise, 27, 542 entries have been made through the government’s mobile application Hamro Swasthya and web portal covid19.mohp.gov.np until today of which 741 entries have been made in the last 24 hours. Eight new persons have been added to the red-zone list in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of those in the red zone to 304. Contact tracing of those in the red zone is being carried out by the concerned authorities, said Spokesperson Devkota. As of today, the country has witnessed 52 cases of coronavirus infection while 16 persons have recovered from the disease, adding a glimmer of hope as the nation grapples with the coronavirus crisis. With the recovery of 16 persons, 36 are currently receiving treatment at various health facilities across the country — one in Dhangadhi, three in Birgunj, one in Bharatpur, and 31 in Biratnagar. All patients have been reported to be in normal health condition. In one of today’s major developments, it was informed by the ministry that a special COVID-19 hospital has been established with the ability to facilitate 100 patients in Dharan. Similarly a PCR machine has been installed at the Dang-based Rapti Academy of Health Sciences (RAHS). With this addition, the total number of PCR machines in the country has reached 16. The government today made provisions for private laboratories to conduct PCR tests under prescribed guideline. A book of directives, namely- Interim guidelines for the establishment and operationalisation of molecular laboratory- was issued today for the private laboratories willing to conduct PCR testing. In addition, those laboratories have to seek authorisation from the Ministry of Health. Spokesperson Dr Bikash Devkota, speaking on the behalf of the ministry, attempted to calm speculation regarding the lockdown extensions, citing that several factors will determine the end and easing of the COVID-19 lockdown—number of tests performed in the country, prevalence of contraction, responsibility shown by the public to combat possible spread during crisis, infrastructural preparedness and sufficiency of health personnels. The post Highlights: Health Ministry’s April 27 COVID-19 media briefing appeared first on The Himalayan Times.
  • VIDEO: Health Ministry’s Daily Briefing on Covid-19 Response
    Health Ministry’s media briefing on April 27, 2020 The post VIDEO: Health Ministry’s Daily Briefing on Covid-19 Response appeared first on The Himalayan Times.