Development on Past Articles

In this page, we report on significant developments regarding articles in past issues of Himal, What follows concerns articles which appeared in our prototype issue.
THE VALLEY CHOKES: The Chobar Cement Factory has doubled its daily production rate of Portland Cement to 400 metric tonnes a day, without installing scrubbers to curtail the dust and other emissions. The air pollution problem has become worse during the past year, according to experts. With increased production, the factory now employs 703 workers and is the major industrial employer in Kathmandu. The major thoroughfares of Kathmandu were spruced up for the SAARC Summit meeting last October, but overall sewerage, sanitation and waste disposal problems remain as they were last year.
Chobar: Still   smoking
LIGHTS GO ON IN NEPALI VILLAGES: HMG did not follow through with its promise to subsidize "mini-micro hydel plants" and the Agricultural Development Bank ended up paying for projects, but only those financed up to B.S. 2042-2043. There has thus been a drastic drop in orders for electrification units and communities are now looking for alternate funding sources. As for the the "electrified dekchi" developed by DCS in Butwal, three hundred of these Nepali cookers are being produced. They will be tested in a pilot scheme with the Andhi Khola Rural Electrification Programme in Syanjha District this summer.
MANY BABIES DIE IN NEPAL: Many babies continue to die because of poor nutrition, rudimentary sanitation, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection (AR1). An 11 February Unicef report estimates that 45,000 children under the age of five die from  dehydration  due to diarrhoea.
Another 40,000 die from vaccine-preventable disease. A study on the extent of ARI, conducted by the Mrigendra Medical Trust, is expected to be out in 1988.
KMTNC, EMERGING ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOG: The Annapurna Conservation Area Project of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, trying to cater to the needs of both villagers and tourists while protecting the environment, set up a kerosene depot at Chhomrong to popularize firewood-saving techniques. Three nurseries provided villagers with 80,000 fodder saplings and a lodge operators´ training programme was held. A "Minimum Impact Code" leaflet is handed to every trekker passing through the area. It carries the motto, "Nepal is here to change you, not for you to change it".
Mingma Norbu, Director of the Project, says many villagers still mistakenly worry that the national park will displace them. Inordinate expectations arc also being placed on the Project. "On the whole, though, they are now very supportive of the Project," he says.
1CIMOD SEARCHES FOR ITS SOUL: Still searching, some would say. But Colin Rosser, Director of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, says that ICIMOD is actively building up a "knowledge bank" for the Himalaya, acting somewhat like an autonomous international planning commission for the region. "The Himalaya is dominated by the ´project´, and so they ask to see ICIMOD´s project. But what we are trying to do is to evaluate, assess and suggest strategy," says Rosser. ICIMOD expects to open up offices elsewhere in the region. It also plans to hold training workshops for senior level officials of the region so that they are brought up to date with new technologies, such as remote sensing, new management tools and new ways of thinking.
For the next three years, ICIMOD´s "area focus" will be, going eastwards, on the North West Frontier Province, Himachal Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Hills, Bagmati Zone in Nepal, the West Central Region of Bhutan, the Lhasa Valley Region, selected Hengduan  Mountain   prefectures  of
China, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh.
TEHRI: TEMPLE OR TOMB? The debate continues. The proponents of Tehri Dam in Garhwal emphasize its importance for the regional economy and for power in the energy-deficient region. They claim that the project, which will require up to IRs2035 crores, is cost beneficial. In opposition; the Delhi-based group INTACH estimates that for every rupee spent the return will be 56 paise.

Engineers have failed to study upstream glaciers, nor have they taken into account the possibility of strong earth tremors, INTACH maintains, adding that because of siltation the lifespan of the dam cannot exceed 65 years. In October, a conference of NGOs of the Asia-Pacific region called for a moratorium on the construction of large dams, in particular the Nam Choan Dam in Thailand and the Narmadasagar and Tehri dams in India as "symbols of environmental destruction, social injustice and economic folly".
NO THOUGHT FOR WOMEN: Women´s issues continue to be treated as supplementary, "almost as footnotes", to the "male-oriented" development projects, according to the Kathmandu-based Centre for Women and Development. Nepal´s sixth and seventh plans are inadequate to ensure the full participation and integration of women in the overall development process, says the Centre. There has, however, been some forward movement. Over 1175 rural Nepali women have benefitted from a production credit programme launched in 1982 by the Women Development Section of the Ministry of Panchayat and Local Development. New Era, a consulting finru is preparing a strategy for "resource management with the active participation of local women".

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian