Supreme Court paves way for FM newscast

Kathmandu, August 10, 2005

Responding to a writ petition filed by the Rainbow FM Private Limited, the management of Nepal FM, the Supreme Court today stayed the government’s move to scrap the licence of the Nepal FM, paving the way for the FM stations to broadcast news. A single bench of Justice Anup Raj Sharma issued the stay order following a hearing today, stating that the government should not scrap the licence of the Nepal FM till the final decision was taken in the case. The Supreme Court also sought reasons form the Cabinet Secretariat and Ministry of Information and Communications on why it had initiated the process to scrap the licence of Nepal FM. Considering the serious nature of the case, the bench ordered that the next hearing would be held on priority basis after the defendants submit their written replies. President of the Nepal Bar Association, Shambhu Thapa, said though the ruling came in response to a writ petition filed by Nepal FM, it would pave the way for all FM stations to broadcast news. “Every other FM station can now exercise this right guaranteed by the Constitution,” former president of NBA, Harihar Dahal, said. Another Advocate, Agni Kharel, echoed his views. On August 3, the Ministry of Information and Communications sought clarification from Nepal FM why it had been broadcasting news even after the government direction not to do so. The Ministry also threatened to cancel its license if it repeated the action.

NEA buys Indian power to supply eastern region

Biratnagar, August 10, 2005

Nepal Electricity Authority bought electricity worth of Rs 940 million from Indian government in the previous fiscal year to supply electricity in the eastern region. The eastern regional directorate of the authority said it had bought 280.39 million units of electricity from India. 250.72-million unit was bought from 132 KV transmission line and 20.67-million unit from 33 KV transmission line. The authority has been buying electricity from India, as electricity supplied from the central electricity transmission line of Nepal having 132 KV capacity is not enough for electricity need in the eastern region. Regional director of the authority, Dhruv Narayan Singh said electricity is being bought for transmission in the eastern region. He said, 132 KV transmission line coming from India is connected to Duhabi and Bhantabari of Sunsari and the 33 KV transmission line is connected to 1 and 2 grids of Rajbiraj and Biratnagar. Singh added, “More electricity had to be bought due to the increasing population in the eastern region.” He also informed that the purchase of electricity increased in the last FY as the tower providing 132 KV transmission line at Rupani of Saptari was damaged. Meanwhile, under Nepal-India Electricity Exchange programme, Nepal is also selling electricity to India.