Even as the people residing on either side of the Nepal-India border are expressing their show of solidarity and brotherhood, the stage has been set for the Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project (UTHP) to get moving with the firm assurance of the investment forthcoming. This makes sense with the country going through harrowing times with load shedding hours going after one extension after another. The paucity of funds may be one part of the story, but the other aspect has to do with internal politics. The arrogant manner in which the UCPN (M) has been making an all out attack to attempt to stop the construction works of the Upper Karnali Hydroelectric Project comes at this crucial juncture when every additional unit of electricity generated would come as a boon. More than the lighting needs, the power for the industrial sector has to come or else the grim prediction of a faltering economy would be for real.
It sends shudders to think that the same UCPN (M) that had been so enthusiastic in giving the go-ahead signal to the Upper Karnali project has made a turnaround with the partisan interest plain and clear. It may be worthwhile remembering that it was just a year back that the country was going through load shedding of 18 hours every day. The same party wants to obstruct the construction of the hydel projects in the country from West Seti to UKHP and Arun-III. There can be no logic behind in trying to do so except to rob the local people of their employment opportunities and ancillary trade. The talk of working for the welfare of the people is merely a disguise for what they are conspiring. The party that had won so much trust from the people in the Constituent Assembly election seems to be staggering on newer prop ups to regain a lost foothold. It was never thought that a party that had come into mainstream politics through the 12-point agreement in India could behave in such a fashion to try to create dents in the Nepal-India friendship and ties that have withstood the many ups and downs of time and fortune. The targeting of the hydel projects, among others, is nothing more than myopic, with the negative repercussions that might befall the prosperity of Nepal that has slowly regained its composure for the development of the feasible projects to tap the hydropower potential. And, in this context, attracting foreign investment, depending on the investment criteria and internal mobilization of funds, may be necessary. The agreements arrived at with the investors are done taking into account a number of facts which have a bearing on the actual benefits that Nepal will have its rights to.
While the Maoists have their own agenda to add on to the woes of power generation projects in the country, several different versions of the projected end of the load shedding menace have been floated. If it was a mirage of 10,000MW in ten years during the Maoist-led government, 2015 seems to be touted when load shedding would be out of the way. It all boils down to the fact that the political parties, ruling or opposition, have to think of the people first then they can go for their own interest.
There are frequent reports about kidnapping for ransom. Because of the nature of the crime, many cases of kidnapping go unreported and the goons get away with the money, and sometimes life as well. Most kidnappers make it a point to warn the kin of the victims against reporting the incident to the police. The kin are naturally concerned about the safety of the kidnapped victims so they hesitate to inform the police. Because of this, the kidnappers are encouraged to carry on their nefarious deeds. Many of the kidnappers demand hefty amounts that the families of the victims are unable to pay.
However, in a kidnapping incident when two women kidnapped a man in the capital recently
and asked for a huge amount of money in ransom, the kin of the victim reported the incident soon
after to the police. Fortunately, in this case the
police were able to nab the culprits and the victim was freed without any harm coming to him. The
police should show more such activities so as to
deter the kidnappers at the same time encouraging the victims’ kin to inform the police as soon as possible so that they can take immediate action. Paying the ransom amount would not help the cause of bringing a halt to kidnapping incidents.