THT 10 years ago: Tehri-like projects likely for Nepal

New Tehri Town (India), Dec 17, 2008

After Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to Tehri project in India, the fourth highest dam in the world, the likelihood of such projects being built in Nepal has increased. Prime Minister Prachanda made an inconspicuous visit to Tehri on November 14, accompanied by Minister for Water Resources Bishnu Poudel. “He became convinced that building big structures is not as complicated as people think, and that social unrest surrounding such projects is manageable if handled properly,” said SRT Sai, Chairman and Managing Director of the Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation. India is interested in at least two mega projects in Nepal, including the 269 m high Koshi Dam, and the 6,480 MW Pancheswore project. Although the DPR for the Pancheswore project was supposed to be finalised a long time ago, the two sides have not been able to agree on the exact design. Tehri Hydro Development Commission, which has by now gathered experience in constructing mega structures and handling massive social engineering projects, is likely to be given responsibility for both the Pancheswore and the Koshi high dams if Nepal gives the nod. The Tehri hydropower project is a massive undertaking comprising two large reservoirs and a network of underground tunnels. The Tehri Dam is an artificial rock-filled mountain with a base of 1.2 km, and a height of 260 m.

NHRC rules out mass grave angle

Kathmandu, December 17, 2008

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today announced that it would initiate further probe in the Shivapuri case. The rights body has come to the conclusion after traces of human remains were found from the suspected grave inside Shivpuri National Park on the fringes of the Valley. The constitutional rights body made the announcement in the presence of Finnish experts, who, too, have corroborated on the findings of human remains. Earlier, investigations had revealed that the body of a male was buried inside the national park about three years ago. The probe, however, ruled out the possibility of a mass grave. Tests conducted on pieces of bones found in the area and subsequent findings at a hi-tech laboratory in University of Helsinki have reinforced the theory of human remains. Helena Ranta, a Finnish expert and part of the visiting team, said that she couldn’t hazard a guess whether the human remains was one among the 43 missing persons. However, she suggested further probe to ascertain the truth. “There is a need to investigate whether the human remains belongs to the missing persons from the Nepal Army barracks,” said Kedar Nath Upadhayay, chairman, NHRC. Forty-three Maoist cadres were found missing from Bhairavnath Battalion of Nepal Army in Maharajgunj in the capital more than five years ago.