Friday, February 25, 2022

Home ministry forms committee to investigate TIA case

After 4 days, the government today formed a probe team to investigate an incident, relating to a man sneaking through three layers of security and boarded an aircraft parked on the tarmac of Tribhuvan International Airport without any documents.

Despite a slew of checking process and three layers of security, the person, without a passport and a visa, reached the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) aircraft, when it was about to take off for Doha from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

Describing the incident highly sensitive in terms of security, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to bring it under investigation, a press note issued by the ministry today reads, adding that the incident had grabbed its serious attention.

The probe team will assess the security of the international airport, work allocations of several securities bodies, possible weaknesses, and ways for improvement, the press note further reads, adding that the nine-member probe team has been formed under the coordination of director-general of Department of Immigration Narayan Prasad Bhattarai

According to joint secretary and spokesperson of the ministry Phanidramani Pokhrel, the probe team will submit its report within seven days. 

The international airport that is heavily guarded by the Nepal Army, Armed Police Force (APF) and Nepal Police but Monday’s incident has left everyone wondering how a person managed to breach the three layers of security to reach the sensitive area. The man was arrested and police have identified him as Haspam Alam of Rautahat. 

According to Nepal Airlines, on February 21 night, Alam was found seated in the business class of an Airbus A330 aircraft, registration number 9N-ALY, which was preparing to fly to Doha. 

After the incident, Nepal Airlines suspended Dhruvaraj Thapa, security commander of Nepal Airlines.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Electricity leakage down to 14.45 per cent

Electricity leakage dropped down to 14.45 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), it has managed to reduce the electricity leakage of the system from 17.18 per cent in the last fiscal year by 2.73 percentage points in the first six months of the current fiscal year 2021-22 to 14.45 per cent.

It became possible through regular campaigning for power supply and control of technical and non-technical leakages, the sole power authority claimed, adding that the leakage has dropped to 14.45 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year, including power transmission and distribution. 

NEA also claimed that most of the leakage in the system is taking place during distribution. "The leakage during distribution in the first six months period is 9.23 per cent," the NEA claimed, adding that it has set a target of reducing electricity leakage to 15.5 per cent in the current fiscal year.

The drop in leakage has also helped increase profit of the NEA. According to NEA managing director Kulman Ghising, "NEA's profit has increased because of increase in revenue due to the reduction in leakage."

The leakage control campaign, according to him, has been carried out effectively, increasing the capacity of the substations, adding conductors, replacing overloaded transformers, and encouraging the use of three-phase meters.

The authority will take strict action against those who steal by bypassing and hooking up the meter, and those who resell the meters, replace the meter and tamper with the meter in order to control the non-technical leakage, he added.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Hong Kong extends ban on flights from Nepal

 Hong Kong extended a ban on incoming flights from eight countries including Nepal until March 4.

The decision today also bans incoming flights from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan and Philippines, until March 4, with the Hong Kong government citing concerns over a growing Covid-19 outbreak.

Flights to Hong Kong are down by 90 per cent and hardly any are allowed to transit as the financial hub isolates itself from the world in the hope it can contain a coronavirus outbreak, even though new infections are overwhelmingly local transmissions.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Airfares get dearer

 Airlines operators jacked up the airfares by up to Rs 445 due to recent increase in fuel prices.

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has hiked the price of air turbine fuel (ATF) for domestic flights by Rs 10 per liter forcing the airlines operators to jack up the surcharge in airfares.

Since the fuel prices have been increasing regularly every fortnight, this is the third time the airline operators have revised their surcharge charges upwards in the past two-and-a-half months.

According to the Airlines Operators Association Nepal (AOAN), Rs 5 change in ATF will force them revise the fuel surcharge.

On the basis of the new airfare, the one-way trip of Kathmandu-Dhangadhi will now cost Rs 5,125, an increase of Rs 445 as fuel surcharge, the AOAN said, adding that the airfares of Kathmandu-Bharatpur flights will be Rs 1,240, an increase of Rs 105.

Finance Minister urges not to indulge in digital networking business

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma asked not to indulge in digital networking business.

Virtually addressing a meeting of Maoist Centre Karnali Province, he argued that digital networking has caused capital flight. "It is illegal," he said, adding that people should rather help help government curb such crime. 

He also asked to create employment and increase production. "By doing so, one can contribute to the creating capital which will ensure local people's ownership in the natural resources," he added.