THT 10 YEARS AGO: Parties to decide on local bodies’ revival

A cabinet meeting today decided to refer the issue of reviving the local bodies to the ruling parties for a final decision. Considering the hardships faced by the people and non execution of development works at local level, the cabinet decided to leave the issue of reviving the local bodies to the ruling parties to decide, said Minister of State for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak. In the absence of local bodies for over five years, all the VDCs, municipalities and district development committees have been manned by government officials. No development work to be carried out under the Ministry of Local Development has been carried out and no peace committees formed at grassroots level since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord. The local bodies’ tenure had expired in 2059 B.S. despite a provision in law that it could be extended by one year. The CPN-UML had won a two-thirds majority in the election held in 2054 BS One of the hurdles in reviving the local bodies is the row among the Nepali Congress, the UML and the Maoists. The UML insists that the local bodies should be revived as per the parties’ position in the 2054 BS local election while the NC and the Maoists insist that a principle of power sharing set to form the parliament must be followed. If the power sharing principle set to form the parliament is to be followed, the UML will be the biggest loser. An earlier meeting of the seven parties could not reach any decision due to the UML’s objection to the NC and the Maoists’ idea of power sharing in the local bodies.

Power outage? Turn to Solar Tuki

Load shedding is not a new phenomena in Nepal and fighting darkness during the power outage sometimes become a nightmare for people who have to rely on Tuki (kerosene-lamps), candles or low quality “emergency lights” with rechargeable batteries. But now there is a durable solution — using Solar Tuki, a cheap solar lighting system. Tuki is a traditional kerosene-lamp widely used in the cities and the villages for illumination and a Solar Tuki is a set of two units of 0.3 Watt White Light Emitting Diodes (WLED) powered by solar energy supplied through a built-in Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries, charged by 3 Watt solar photo voltaic panel. The lamp unit also has a 3 Volt outlet for connecting a FM/AM radio. The fully charged Solar Tuki works for eight hours. A newer version of the lamp, named Solar Tuki Plus, even supports a cellular mobile phone and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phone charger or a 12 Volt TV or a fan for improved cooking-stove. Such lamps have already been popular in remote villages and are now waiting to be introduced in other areas. In rural context, such lamps have been effective to reduce use of kerosene.