Monday, November 29, 2004

Lumbini jamboree all set to kick off

Razen Manandhar
Lumbini, November 29:

Preparations for the much-hyped Second World Buddhist Summit are complete, the organisers said today.

The over 2500 years old shrine has been selected as the venue for the international gathering of eads of states, political leaders, diplomats and religious leaders.
Hotels in Butwal, Bhairahawa and Lumbini bazaar as well as monasteries are all packed with delegates, observers and journalists.
Many are yet to find bedding space. A minor bomb blast, not far away from Lumbini, sent a ripple of fear among participants but they are committed to see the gathering to a successful ending.

"We are ready to welcome the distinguished guests," said host Deep Kumar Upadhyaya, the minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation. Organisers said that the two-day Rupandehi bandh,imposed by the Moist would not affect the gathering. Three working papers -- Indispensability of peace in the present world context, Lumbini's development and international cooperation, and developing Lumbini as a world peace city � will be presented during the three-day event.

Meanwhile, the local administration has picked up some 100 buses of the Western Nepal Bus Entrepreneurs' Association (WNBEA) and Siddhartha Transporters' Committee (STC) to be used during the Summit. The WNBEA and STC said force was used to vacate many vehicles carrying passengers and bringing others from the owners' houses.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Litterbug NGO plays havoc on people

Razen Manandhar
Lalitpur, November 7(2004):

A group of social workers in Sanepa has made up its mind to keep its "VIP area" clean, but at the cost of other people�s cleanliness.

A local non-government organisation, Women�s Initiative for Environment and Development (WEID), has been collecting garbage from around its neighbourhood and the drive has been successful so far. It is, however, dumping the litter by the roadside in Gusingal, next to an old pati, every morning.

A board near the WEID office reads: �Don�t litter here,� and the area looks clean and fresh. Each of the around 300 households in Sanepa, Ward No 2 of the Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City, pays Rs 50 a month to the NGO to have their garbage collected every day.

Locals of Gusingal have been fighting with rickshaw-pullers who dump the garbage, but in vain. �We failed to stop them from dumping the waste. Moreover, as there isn�t unity among us locals, our protest against the NGO was futile,� a local resident said. '

The Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City has placed a container at the spot, but the WEID rickshaws simply litter the ground as the container is too small to take in all the waste. Rag pickers, too, spread the garbage all over the road. Kamal KC, chairperson of WEID, said they have been dumping the garbage at Gusingal to keep the Sanepa area clean. �This is a VIP area and we have to keep it clean,� she said.

When asked what would happen to locals of Gusingal, she admitted that they haven�t been able to manage the garbage properly due to lack of funds. �We have plans of organising awareness programmes, composting and reusing the waste, but we have to dump it there for the time being due to flaws in our organisation,� KC admitted.

She further said that the LSC had not been cooperating with the WEID in managing the garbage. The NGO pays around Rs 3,000 annually to the LSC for a container at Gusingal, but the LSC does not regularly keep the container there. KC further admitted that they have not paid the LSC for a long time now.