THT 10 YEARS AGO: Security forces not working in tandem

Kathmandu, November 7, 2007

The Tarai Riot Probe Commission led by Supreme Court Justice Khil Raj Regmi today submitted its report to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, recommending to the government to set up a mechanism under the Ministry of Home Affairs to tackle such happenings in future and provide immediate relief to the victims.

Justice Regmi told reporters after submitting his report to Koirala at the latter’s official residence in Baluwatar that Koirala assured the commission members that the government would implement the report gradually.

The Commission completed its probe in five months and found certain lapses in the state mechanism and that coordination between the security forces to control such happenings immediately was lacking.

It recommended to the government to ensure cooperation between the security setup and the state machinery during such situation. Besides Justice Regmi, other members of the commission were: Appellate Court Judge Janardan Bahadur Khadka, Additional Chief Investigation Director of National Investigation Department Sukha Chandra Jha, Joint Government Attorney Raj Narayan Pathak and Deputy Inspector General Ravi Pratap Shah.

The commission stated that several groups had took part in Tarai rioting in January and February. Several political parties and the locals have alleged the involvement of the royal palace and Indian Hindu fundamentalists in the rioting. When asked about the allegation, Regmi said, “I cannot make public this part of the report as the government is supposed to reveal it.

New road to cut travel time to Tarai

Kathmandu, November 7, 2007

The distance between Kathmandu and the Tarai will be only 82 km in a year to come, thanks to the government’s approval to construct North-South Fast Track along the Bagmati river.

“The cabinet recently chose the road from Kathmandu to Nijgadh, out of three options provided by the Department of Roads.

Once the road becomes operational the travel time between the valley and the Tarai will be less than two hours,” Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, Director General of DoR, told mediapersons at his office today. Presently, it takes at least six hours to get to Tarai by road. This North-South Fast Track Road Project is being supported by Asian Development Bank with a budget of Rs 20 million for initial work. “The project was approved in the annual programme and the process of contract bidding is on,” he added.

This is going to be one of the 64 major projects the DoR is launching this year, which will make the total length of strategic roads in the country 7,330 km, once the government approves an additional 2,300 km. The DoR has decided to construct 64 major roads in the country with a budget of Rs 8.8 billion. Of this, DoR will spend Rs 7.3 billion, Nepal Army Rs 320 million and Road Board Rs 760 million.