The Nepal Digest - Dec 15, 1999 (29 Mangshir 2056 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wed Dec 15, 1999: Mangshir 29 2056BS: Year8 Volume93 Issue439

Today's Topics (partial list):

       Report and Request
       AFVs News
       This from The New York Times
       Some information on history
       Judges in Nepal

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****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 08:28:41 -0800 (PST) From: Mahabir Pun <punm@yahoo.com> Subject: Report and Request To: tnd@nepal.org

Himanchal High School Project: A Few More Step Forward on its Journey

 This is Mahabir Pun (punm@yahoo.com). The adage that the journey of one thousand mile starts from the first step applies to Himanchal High School in Nangi village, Nepal. The school put its first step forward in 1993 by upgrading the middle school to high school. The high school section was started with 20 students in eighth grade and with two teachers to teach them.

Before 1993, there was a middle school from grade one through seven with about 130 students and six teachers. There were seven classrooms and an office room in the school building. Now the school has 260 students and 15 teachers. With the financial support of friends abroad and villagers’ participation we have added six more classrooms, one office room, a library with 3,000 books, a computer laboratory with seven computers, a small science laboratory, and a two-bedroom guesthouse with kitchen for international volunteers. We are going to build a new guesthouse with 6 bedrooms in 2000. There are also 30 huts built by the students for accommodation in the school compound. The school area now looks like a small village when we see it from the ridges to the north of the school, especially at night when the lights are on. It is only the school that has electricity produced by a small 1KW and 2KW hydro-generators.

Until now 24 students have graduated from the high school. Ten of them are going to college in the cities. Academically, our school is doing much well than average rural high schools because the passing average of our students in the national level standardized high school test is above 75% compared to 40% national average. There are 40 high schools in our district. One of our students scored second highest in 1997 and the other scored the highest in 1998 in the district on the national level high school test.

Before 1993, no foreigner knew about Nangi village. However, it is now attracting volunteers from around the world. Until now we got 30 visitors, and 13 volunteers from different countries such as USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Britain, Singapore, Holland and Malaysia, who volunteered in the school from a length of two weeks to four months time. More people are planning to come in future.

The school has come some more steps further by developing income-producing projects to support the school. Of the many programs started on trial basis to make money; rabbit and duck raising are doing well. The school has built a house for ducks and rabbits near the student huts. Older students are given responsibility to take care of the rabbits and ducks. The students have even built a pond for the ducks.

Among the moneymaking projects camping ground for the tourists has become the most successful program in bringing larger income for the school. With the financial support of a Japanese organization, the school built a camping ground in 1996 which now is producing income enough to support one teacher for one year. Since tourism has great potential to bring cash income, the school plans to build more campgrounds and tourists facilities in the region. The school has even started two joint venture projects with another high school in the area, which is the example of its effort to tapping money from the tourists to make the school self-supportive.

The first joint venture project of raising yaks in the foothills of Annapurna South (23,684 ft.) was started in 1997 with Paudwar High School. Now there are 32 yaks that produces income from the sale of meat, wool, milk, and butter. The income from the yak project now is just enough to support itself. We need to wait a few more years to get extra income from the yaks until the herd grows to 100. We are planning to cross breed the yaks with local cows that produce "jhopa", which is very useful animal for carrying loads and ploughing fields. "Jhopa" will certainly be a great help to the villagers in farming.

The second joint venture program with Paudwar High School is the building of a camping ground in a place called Khopra at an elevation of 12,000 ft. This is the same region where the yaks have been introduced. Last summer, we built a camping ground facility for the tourists, which includes a dining hall, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a store. The project is now complete and has even started to bring income for the schools. A few more steps that we are trying hard to take in our journey is as follows.

As part of Eco-tourism project, we plan to build three more camping grounds with facilities like restaurants, lodges, souvenir shop, and information center with the Internet access because more tourists are coming every year. We plan to use solar and wind power to meet the energy need at the facilities.

To attract more tourists we are trying to establish a rhododendron park near Nangi village in an area of about 100 acres with mountain bike trail. Of the estimated 700 species of rhododendron all over the world, about 30 are found in Nepal. We will try to grow as many species of rhododendron as possible in the park. The park will also attract national tourists because rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal.

We are looking for support to initiate these projects. The approximate amount of money we need to complete for building additional campgrounds, tourist facilities and establishing rhododendron park with mountain bike trail is about US$60,000. We would like to ask you for support, which you can send to: Himanchal Educational Foundation, 1602W, 36th St, Kearney, Nebraska 68845, U.S.A. It is a non-profit organization with tax-deductible status.

Finally, the second phase of the project is to start eleventh grade in July 2003 and twelfth grade the following year. We can not start the second phase unless we have a definite source of income to pay for the teachers. Right now, the income producing programs are producing about 5-8% of the money we need. What we clearly see now is that the journey is not easy. However, the villagers are enthusiastic to finish "the journey of one thousand mile". When we will get to the other end of our journey, there will be a four-year college with about 300 students. (Please visit our website http://rip.physics.unk.edu/Nepal for more information.)

****************************************************************** Date: 25 Nov 1999 13:37:44 -0000 To: List Member <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: "Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal" <AFVsNepal-owner@listbot.com> Subject: AFVs News

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal

Nepal News

1. NEVI included in the list of EV suppliers Nepal Electric Vehicle Industry (NEVI) which was earlier excluded from the list of suppliers to provide electric tempos to the recipients of loans from the Ministry of Population Environment has been added to the list in a latest announcement by the Ministry. With this total number of EV suppliers has increased to four. The other suppliers are Green Electric Vehicle Company Pvt. Ltd., Green Valley Electro Mobile Pvt. Ltd. and Electric Vehicle Company Pvt. Ltd. Without inclusion of NEVI, it looked that EV suppliers could not deliver electric tempos to customers in time.

2. LPG entrepreneurs united Despite increasing vehicles mainly LPG run three-wheelers and electric tempos in the valley, public discontent about inadequate transport service is still high. With this in mind LPG entrepreneurs have formed a Bagmati LPG Tempo Entrepreneurs Association to provide adequate transport service to commuters at cheaper price. Til Prasad Joshi is a coordinator of the association. Other members include Chandra Lal Maharjan (deputy coordiantor), Shankar Paudel (member secretary), Santa Prasad Timilsina
(treasurer) and Radheshyam Shrestha, Gam Bahadur Karki and Babu Kaji Maharjan as members.

3. Comments:

Dear Sirs,

A note to ponder.

About a week ago a notice came in the rising Nepal that emission standards were to be "reviewed" (i.e. relaxed) concerning the new micro buses that were being allowed to import to replace the diesel vikrams.

Now bear in mind that the efforts of the EV industry has been to have EVs proliferate enough so that the EVs could fulfill the new suppressed demand for public transportation resulting from 1) ban of imports of new diesel vikrams since a few years ago and 2) the new ban on operation of diesel vikrams inside the ring road. Now instead of this entire new suppressed demand falling on the new EV industry, there is a lobby to get the orders filled quickly by any technology and so HMG/N has ruled to allow a certain amount of diesel or petrol micro busses in at a drastically reduced tax thereby thwarting efforts made so far by the Ev industry. In addition, emission standards will be lowered for such vehicles as there is no way they can comply with reasonable standards.

Is there really no such thing as a Ministry of environment who cares about this. Is it really true that HMG/N is so blind as not to see the irony of accepting graft to allow pollution after we have come so far? Will these vehicles really be allowed to be imported into Nepal and cut into the EV manufacturers source of sustainability?

We now have the simultaneous occurrence of new electricity tariff hike, Resistance to hike diesel prices (now subsidized heavily) , allowance of new micro bus imports at reduced rates, relaxed emission standards for these busses, the levying of VAT on EV parts and batteries, and finally excessive resistance from the ministry of transport to fulfill many promises for EV operation facilities. Doesn't this all smell of ignorance and oil?

I implore the entire community of Nepal urban dwellers to realize the problems at hand and take strong action in the streets. I encourage donors to put funds where they belong and not toi HMG/N who just eat them and then use the funds to thwart EV proliferation.

Realize that the EV manufacturers are doing all they can to survive and fill orders on time. All we need is the slightest cooperation from HMG/N and we'll have clean air. We're not even asking them for money. We're only asking for common sense.

1) No tax on EV parts and batteries 2) a reasonable hike in costly diesel (foreign import) 3) a break in Electricity tariff for EVs to reflect off hour use 4) Ease for route obtaining in transport department 5) A green p[late for EVs only 6) an end to harassment of EVs by police.

Doesn't anyone in the Ministries and departments have any children they care about? Let us stop subsidizing people to pollute and taxing them to ride clean and start to do the opposite. If not that, than at least let EVs compete on a level ground with Diesel and petrol.

Enough???

Adam Friedensohn

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 15:01:07 +0500 To: (Recipient list suppressed) From: Martin Chautari <chautari@mos.com.np> Subject: Martin Chautari discussions

All discussions take place at Martin Chautari, Thapathali (tel/fax: 246065) at 5:30pm. If you need directions, pls call.

23 Nov 1999 WTO Membership: Implications for Nepal Dr Posh Raj Pandey

30 Nov 1999 Yogmaya and Other Historical Women from the Arun Valley Matrika Timilsina, Arun Valley Concerned Centre Laxman Kunwar, Nepal Studies Centre

7 December 1999 Nepal Bhasa Movement and a Community Agenda for Newars Malla K Sundar and others

14 December 1999 Junkiriko Sangit: Khagendra Sangraula's New Novel in the eyes of Dalit Readers Chakraman Biswakarma and others

21 December 1999 Kathmandu's Jyapu Culture: Where is it headed? Santu Maharjan, Chair, Shree Jyapu Mahaguthi Juju Bhai Dongol

********************************************************** Forwarded by: "Ashutosh Tiwari" <ashu12345@hotmail.com> Subject: This from The New York Times Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 14:48:03 EST

Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company November 24, 1999, Wednesday

Lead or Get Out of The Way BYLINE: By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN DATELINE: COLOMBO, Sri Lanka BODY:
   Scene #1: A few days after the coup in Pakistan, the coup leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, held a news conference that surely was a historical first. The Pakistani general said he had had to mount the coup in order to pull Pakistan out of its morass of corruption, and to prove that he was up to this task the general offered to disclose his tax returns. Think about that. When in the history of coups has a general sought to win legitimacy by offering to disclose his tax returns? He didn't vow to retake Kashmir or to nuke New Delhi. He vowed to prove that he had played straight with the Pakistani I.R.S.

Scene #2: I just attended a seminar in Sri Lanka organized by U.S. A.I.D. on competitiveness. The audience was made up of Sri Lankan, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepalese business leaders. One of the speakers was the former Costa Rican president Jose Maria Figueres, who gave the audience a spellbinding description of how Costa Rica got Intel to set up a factory there, started to bring the Internet into all its schools and successfully adapted to the Information Revolution. The audience of South Asians was awed, and when it came to question time, several people stood up and asked Mr. Figueres: "Would you run for president in my country?"

What's going on out here? It's this: We are entering an age when everyone increasingly knows how everyone else lives -- especially the 30-to-40-year-old educated generation in South Asia. And the more members of this generation know about wider trends in the world today, the more they realize that their own leaders don't "get it," the more they are feeling left behind, frustrated and willing to consider non-democratic alternatives.

A 46-year-old Sri Lankan woman banker said to me: "We have lost 25 years. In 1964 Lee Kuan Yew the leader of Singapore came to Sri Lanka and said Singapore should become like Sri Lanka. We were his model -- on literacy, on health care, on education. But now Singapore is the model and ours is a destiny we never achieved. So when people listened to Figueres, they said: 'Why can't we get leaders like this?' Where did he come from? How did he happen? Is it that people get the leaders they deserve? Have we done something wrong? We need to take all our leaders who are corrupt and bumbling and ostracize them, but we never do. There are so many people whose heads haven't rolled that should have."

No wonder, she added, that "so many people walked out after Mr. Figueres's speech and said, 'If we don't have that kind of competence within our own country, why can't we hire it?' One of the big Sri Lankan businessmen said to me, 'I wouldn't even mind paying his salary myself.' Look at the number of companies that Sri Lankans or Indians have started in Silicon Valley , but we don't have the leadership here to manage our own ship."

A Pakistani journalist, Anjum Ibrahim, remarked to me about the coup in her country: "I was confused. I didn't know whether to condemn the military or not. On the one side they put in power a general with no qualifications for running a government. But then there was nothing democratic about how the previous prime minister ruled -- except that he held elections. I'm not ambivalent about democracy. I'm ambivalent about those who claim to represent it in our country."

The reason this is bubbling over now is that the rising middle classes are becoming less economically dependent on the state for their livelihoods, but more aware that the state is still the plug and framework through which they will relate to today's global economy. If that plug is faulty, if it only works with bribes, if it has no rule of law or vision of how to succeed in this world, these rising middle classes will never thrive for long or protect what they have achieved. So they desperately want better governance
-- any way they can.

"The middle classes all over South Asia are getting really teed off," says Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Director of Sri Lanka's Center for Policy Alternatives. With the exception of India, he said, many people "are turning their backs on the electoral process and speaking now about 'partyless democracy.' Representative democracy in the subcontinent has earned a bad name, and it has come to a point where the whole notion of it is now being threatened."

******************************************************************* Date: 29 Nov 1999 10:50:04 -0000 To: List Member <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: "Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal" <AFVsNepal-owner@listbot.com> Subject: AFVs News

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal

AFVs News

1. Officials surprised at DANIDA's silence on Chassis Dynamometer

Taken from Kantipur daily, 26 November, 1999

Officials of Ministry of Environment and Population were dismayed by the "silence ' of the Danish fact finding group on the Chassis Dynamometer required for monitoring Euro I standard. The Chassis Dynamometer is missing from the list of equipment mentioned in the debriefing note presented to the MoPE. The Danish fact finding group came in Nepal to assess the problems and help alleviate air pollution problems in Kathmandu Valley. The debriefing note contains plans to set new air quality standards but there are no references to Euro I Standards and Chassis Dynamometer.

" We were confident of getting Chassis Dynamometer," said an official of MoPE. Though the government has announced to implement Euro I standards, there is no Chassis Dynamometer to monitor Euro I standards. Minister of State Bhakta Bahadur Balayar told Kantipur in an informal meeting that the Danish ambassador had assured MoPE to provide the equipment the day news published on the lack of Chassis Dynamometer.

The Danish government had made public its commitment to improve the air quality of the valley and set aside 300 million rupees for this purpose. Ministry earlier submitted its action plan to the fact finding group emphasizing the need of Chassis Dynamometer. Ministry sources alleged the Danish fact finding group of trying to influence the project and presenting a plan that does not reflect the need of the Ministry.
 
"The project should run the way we need it. This problem has arisen because a short-term visit by experts from the donors side and consulting a few people could not assess adequately the gravity of problems and the need of the people," said Surendra Devkota.

The fact finding group has suggested to the need improve the quality of fuel, establish emissions monitoring stations and promote alternative fuel vehicles in Nepal.

2. Toyata's Hybrid Car

Toyota's eagerly awaited hybrid car, the Prius, goes on the market in Japan on December 10. The Prius runs on a flexible combination of electric and gasoline power. In Japanese testing, it has proved twice as fuel-efficient and 10 times cleaner than conventional vehicles of comparable size and performance.

The Prius captured international attention when it debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. Automakers in North America, Europe, and Japan have been working on hybrid systems for several years. But Toyota is the first to market a mass-produced hybrid car.

At the heart of the Prius is the revolutionary Toyota Hybrid System. That system includes both a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and a permanent-magnet electric motor. The car runs entirely on electric power during startup and under light loads, as on downgrades. It runs on a combination of gasoline and electric power during ordinary cruising.

The hybrid system only uses engine power in the most efficient range. A computerized power splitter directs power from the engine to the wheels and also to the generator. Output from the generator recharges the batteries whenever they are low. And a regenerative braking arrangement also recovers energy from the wheels during downhill driving, deceleration, and braking and uses it to generate electricity.

Toyota has designed, equipped, and priced the Prius to be fully competitive with conventional automobiles. The automaker will market the car throughout Japan through the outlets of its largest sales channel. Toyota's initial sales target for the Prius is 1,000 vehicles a month.

Nepal News:

1. Tuk-Tuks not to raise fare
     Martin Chautari, 2, December, 1999

Amid increase in fare for both electric vehicles and gasoline powered vehicles, the Tuk-Tuk operators have decided not to raise the fare. The executive committee of the valley LPG entrepreneurs association decided all Tuk-Tuks registered in the association would serve the customers at the existing rate. The government has not increased the price of LPG gas
(household) which is used also in the tuk-tuks.

General News: 1. Electric Vehicles in Developing Countries

In developing countries traffic is increasing at an incredible rate. In many cities pollution has reached an intolerable level. Diseases which are caused by the contaminated air are increasing at an equal rate. The employment of electric vehicles might help to reduce these problems. The conditions for the use of electric vehicles are better due to the lower speed of the traffic, and due to more favorable transportation and climatic conditions, which sets off part of the shortcomings of the batteries.

Studies and projects on electric vehicles have been conducted in Various developing countries. In Kathmandu, Nepal, 3-wheelers have been converted, which serve as taxis. The population of Kathmandu judges this project as extremely useful, mainly because the taxi passengers are no more exposed to the exhaust fumes of the vehicles. In India several attempts have been made to cope with the increasing air pollution in the large cities.

In developing countries the conditions for use are partly better than in the industrialized countries. Particularly the batteries may be less stressed because of lower average and top speeds. Also the average ambient temperature is often higher, which is an advantage for lead batteries. Public transportation vehicles often run fixed routes, which allows fast charging or battery exchange at the terminals. These facts result in a longer life cycle and lower battery costs.

Chances and Limits of Electric Vehicles The benefits of electric vehicles are manifold. Some of the chances they offer are:
- Electric cars have no emissions when running and can reduce pollution world-wide.
- Electric vehicles do not rely on emission control equipment that can worsen over time and cause significant increase in vehicular emissions.
- Cleaner cars are an efficient way towards cleaner air.
- Emissions do not increase: as the vehicle or components age or malfunction, if the vehicle is poorly maintained, when the vehicle is driven at high speeds or rapidly accelerates.
- There are no emissions associated with refuelling.
- Smog checks are unnecessary.
- EV’s have less complicated components than vehicles with combustion engines.
- With only a few moving parts in the motor, little maintenance is required.
- EV’s may be conveniently refuelled at home.
- EV’s are very quiet when driving.
- Long life due to the reliability of electronic components.
- Some electric vehicles offer quick acceleration unmatched by most vehicles on the road.
- Infrastructure needed for recharging the batteries is available to a large extent.
- Dramatic reduction in oil consumption and petroleum imports.
- EV’s can use energy created from renewable energy resources, such as hydro, sun or wind.

Some drawbacks of electric vehicles are the following:
- Electric vehicles cannot be used for all applications.
- Electric vehicles will not be able to replace all gasoline vehicles in the near future.
- Running costs are high due to the short life expectancy of the batteries and the related replacement costs for batteries.
- The performance of EV’s is limited due to the amount of energy that can be drawn from their batteries in specific units of time; in other words, their power capacity.
- Electric vehicle batteries of today’s technology need replacement every two or three years.
- Non sealed lead acid batteries have to be filled with water every 2'000 to 4’000km.
- Another problem with EV’s concerns the time required to charge their batteries.

************************************************************************** From: "Jimmy Rai" <jimmyrai@alltel.net> To: <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Some information on history. Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 16:36:36 -0500

Sir,

I need to update my history lessons: could any of your readers help? Firstly, Sri 3 Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana died in 1877 and was succeded by his brother, Jagat Shamsher Rana. He was assasinated by (?) on (?). Jagat Shamsher was succeded by (?). Secondly, King Tribhuwan accompanied by his entire family took asylum and arrived at New Delhi on 6 November 1950 and returned on 15 February 1951. During his absence his grandson Prince Gyanendra was crowned King of Nepal on (?). I will be grateful. Thank you very much indeed.

With best wishes. Jimmy Rai <jimmyrai@alltel.net>

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** Date: 6 Dec 1999 14:36:52 -0000 To: List Member <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: "Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal" <AFVsNepal-owner@listbot.com> Subject: AFVs News

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal

Nepal News

1. Invitation for An Interaction Program
 
  Dear all,

 The operation of EVs in Kathmandu built with Nepalese expertise and efforts has crossed three years mark. The number of EVs popularly known as SAFA tempos has reached 300. The EVs that run on electricity are gaining world-wide popularity. The success of EVs in Nepal has become an international interest. In this context, LEADERs Nepal and Martin Chautari which are working on energy-environment interrelations in transport sector are organizing an interaction program " EVs in Next Millennium and Experience of EV in Nepal" with a view to share Nepalese experience with foreign experts. We welcome you all to participate in the program.

Date: 8 December, 1999 Time: 1.00 pm Venue: Auditorium Hall of Nepal Tourism Board , Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu

2. Umbrella Organization of EV Entrepreneurs in Offing
  Martin Chautari, 6 December, 1999 The much talked about umbrella organization of EV entrepreneurs is moving in the direction of becoming a reality. In a meeting held at Martin Chautari on Sunday, it was decided to form an umbrella organization comprising EV manufacturers, charging stations' owners, unit organizations of EV owners and charger and EV parts manufacturers and unit organizations of drivers. The main objective of the umbrella organization shall be to work towards fulfilling common interests of EV entrepreneurs leading to the promotion of EVs in next millennium. The work is under way to formulate bylaws of the proposed organization.

3. High Level Committee Formed to Set Air Quality and Fuel Standards
    From Kantipur Daily, December 4, 1999 Citing full commitment of Prime Minister towards pollution control in Kathmandu valley, the State Minister for population and environment Bhakta Bahadur Balayar reiterated the government's stand on Euro I standards.'' I am facing pressures from all directions but I am not going to relax the standards imposed for the import of microbuses," said State Minister.

The main culprit of the valley's worsening air pollution, the diesel tempos were banned to operate from September 17, 1999. The government then decided to allow 99 per cent waiver on import duty and VAT exemption for the for diesel tempo owners to import micro buses with Euro I standard. Since none of the owners actually opened LC within the deadline as required to import the microbuses, the government has now extended the deadline to open up LC till January 15.

On the ground of hardships faced by the deprived tempo drivers as none of the owners opened LC, the Environment Ministry has constituted a committee comprising secretaries and member secretaries of Ministry of Finance, Supplies, Works and Transport and Environment to find a way out of this problem.

According to the press release issued by the Ministry, the committee will work out new vehicular emission standards, fuel quality standards and other relevant future policies. Environmentalists sense there could be a foul play in this newly constituted committee. " If the government loose Euro I standards, all of its credits (national and international) will flow down the drain," says Anil Baral, an environmentalist.

Bimal Aryal who is conducting a research on public transport says that the drivers are moving out of the valley along with the banned Vikram tempos and with the number of electric tempos crossing 300, the problem faced by commuters is gradually diminishing. " It does not matter much even if we do not have microbuses. We have growing EV industry here," says Bimal Aryal. According to him the five manufacturing companies have bookings for 200 electric tempos.

A study carried out by Center for Science and Environment, an NGO working actively on environment in India shows that every year 10 thousand people die form air pollution. In Nepal such study has yet to be carried out. In a study carried out by LEADERS Nepal based on the records of Kanti Bal Hospital, it was found that children from the city suffered more from respiratory ailments than the children living in city outskirts.

"Air pollution does not discriminate entrepreneurs, experts and the general public. Our government wants to avoid the danger of a whole generation becoming mentally retarded," said the Minister of State, Bhakta Bahadur Balayar - when it comes to the health of general public, rather than thinking in terms of individual cost and benefits, one has to think along the nationalistic line."

The Minster emphasized that the newly constituted committee will also involve independent experts and journalists and find out solution of the prevailing problem without relaxing the Euro I standards.

AFVs News

1. Interaction Program on "EVs in Next Millennium and Experience of Electric Tempos in Nepal

  Martin Chautari, 9 December, 1999

An interaction program on " EVs in Next Millennium and Experience of Electric Tempos in Nepal" was organized yesterday by Leaders Nepal and Martin Chautari. Addressing the participants, Amod Pokhrel from Leaders Nepal said that EV industry in Nepal has become an example for the whole world and it has got a huge response from international community. Among prominent participants were Minister of State for Population and Environment Bhakta Bahadur Balayar and experts from Japan. In the program Minister stressed the government's commitment to promote EVs built in the country in order to reduce air pollution of Katmandu valley. " Government should take appropriate measures to ensure that every child born in healthy environment, " said the Minister.
  The EV industry in Nepal is no longer a small business. It has grown into multi-crore business and is providing jobs to a considerable number of people. "This is a perfect example that economic development does not conflict with environment protection. "Instead of focusing on facilitating the import of microbuses, the government should focus on promoting EVs which are being manufactured with our own resources and expertise," said Bikash Pandey, Director of REPSO-Nepal Winrock International. According to Biksah Pandey about 570 persons are directly employed in EV industry as managers, technicians, drivers and workers. Apart from direct benefits, the EV industry is also creating cross-sectoral benefits such as creating jobs in transformer manufacture and hydroelectricity generation, boost in tourism, and revenues to Nepal Electricity Authority.

"Manufacturing only electric tempos will not sustain the EV industry in future. The time has come for manufactures to expand their market outside Katmandu and start manufacturing four-wheeler EVs too," said Anil Baral from Martin Chautari. EV industry needs more concessions if it has survive strongly in market. Ashok Raj Pandey speaking on behalf of manufacturers demanded that government should provide VAT exemptions on electric components too.

2. Role of NGOs in EV promotion: Experience of Martin Chautari

Background: Nepal has witnessed encouraging growth of electric tempos and LPG-run Tuk-Tuks in recent years. The Electric Vehicle (EV) industry which once was looked upon as a risky adventure has now established itself as a strong and commercially profitable industry. Nowhere in the world have EV industries been running successfully like in Nepal. The way these Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) are growing here has been able to receive a wide attention from international community. EVs which are unable to compete with conventional modes of transport in other parts of the world are doing well in Kathmandu. The comparatively low manufacturing costs mainly due to cheap labor costs and financial incentives provided by the government have rendered the EV industry a competitive edge. Endeavors of Nepalese entrepreneurs aside, the active participation by NGOs working in the field of environment such as awareness building, boycotting polluting Vikram tempos helped a lot to force the government to take measures like prohibiting the operation of Vikram tempos in the valley, provide compensation for Vikram owners and incentives for the promotion of Alternative Fuel Vehicles. These efforts are proving fruitful for the promotion of AFVs in Nepal.

What is Martin Chautari doing? Martin Chautari began advocacy program based on the research conducted with support from Renewable Energy Program Support Office-Nepal, Winrock International. The research outlined bottlenecks facing the EV industry in Nepal. It proposed some specific measures to help EV industry grow in the market. Among recommended measures featured in the research are lobbying for incentives for non-polluting mode of transport and public awareness building and mobilization through NGOs. Following the two-month study Martin Chautari has embarked on advocacy program that comprises environmental education in public schools of Kathmandu, radio programs, information dissemination through pamphleteering, writing articles and publishing news in various print media, interaction programs and e-mail circulation through a mailing list server.

What can we learn from public campaign for Clean Air?

It took eight years for government to prohibit the operation of Vikram tempos after it stopped registering new Vikram tempos. The introduction of electric tempos and Tuk-Tuks and an intensified "Vikram Out" campaign in last one year by a number of NGOs like Martin Chautari, Explore Nepal, Leaders Nepal, Abhiyan Group, etc. resulted in ousting of Vikram tempos thereby paving a way for the promotion of EVs in Nepal. The demand for EVs has more than trebled after the Vikram tempos' expulsion. The EV industry has grown into multi-crore business and has already provided jobs to a substantial number of people. This suggests that the protection of environment does not conflict with economic growth of the nation.

The key to bring a substantial change such as banning Vikram tempos and providing incentives for EVs is a constant public pressure. In developing countries like Nepal, creating demand driven initiatives for AFVs through grass root advocacy is always important. Since the government alone can not enforce environmentally friendly policies such as implementing strict emission standards, penalizing polluting vehicles, and providing incentives unless it has been forced to do so, role of NGOs to mobilize people and demand improvements assumes greater significance. NGOs can promote AFVs and hence reduce the worsening air quality of the valley by informing the public of advantages of using EVs, informing manufacturers of incentives provided by the government, and facilitate in the creation of conducive environment for participation of women entrepreneurs. Women seem to be suitable for driving electric tempos not only because they take proper care of the batteries and EV itself, the work load also suits them. The government's decision to introduce Euro I standards in next millennium gets boost if a healthy working relationship among Ministry of Population and Environment, other line ministries and institutions and NGOs develops. NGOs can provide feedback on what type of standards are economically and socially feasible and what instruments should be taken to achieve that goal.
   What can be done to promote EVs in next millennium?

Barring trolley buses, AFVs in Nepal mainly represent electric tempos and LPG-powered Tuks-Tuks. Entrepreneurs in Nepal are focusing on three-wheelers rather than on four wheelers. The reason is these three-wheelers are originally developed to substitute gasoline tempos. Though the battery-run four-wheelers are expensive to built, manufacturers in Nepal should bear in mind that manufacturing electric tempos or running Tuk-Tuks can not alone sustain themselves in near future. For example, the demand for electric tempos is sure to be dwindled after the demand created after Vikram tempos' expulsion is fulfilled. For the case of three-wheelers, attempts must now be made to expand their market outside the valley.

 In addition to continuing producing three-wheelers, the time is now ripe for industries to look for developing four-wheelers run on alternative fuels. This certainly demands research and development. As in the case of electric tempos which began operating after a few years of research development, the manufacturers here need technical assistance and financial support from international communities for such efforts. The government can play an important role in this regard by developing a legislative framework that provides incentives for four-wheelers and facilitates technology transfer. Here again NGOs can assist by suggesting what types of policies should be formulated and implemented to foster development and operation of four-wheelers within the country, and creating awareness among the public of advantages of using such four-wheelers. We need EVs in next millennium not only to breathe fresh air but also to ensure sustainable development.

3. Comments from Adam Friedensohn Some rebuttal:

"high cost of batteries" is also a function of how the charger station operators do their job and quality of chargers and usage patterns of drivers who are not owners. not an inherent aspect of EV technology.

Secondly battery changeover time (public transport scenarios only) are timely as they occur on tea breaks and only take 5-10 minutes. Not much of a problem we hear. Also when one talks of battery cost one must talk of fuel cost in general. Diesel is subsidized and batteries are taxed. This again is not an inherent problem with EV technology or its cost but government policy reflecting their somewhat skewed view on life in general.

************************************************************** Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 23:15:28 -0600 From: Padam Sharma <psharma@outtech.com> To: ENF Friends and Supporters <empowernepal@mailexcite.com> Subject: Greetings and Update from Empower Nepal Foundation....

Dear Friend : Namaste!

On behalf of Empower Nepal Foundation, I express the season’s warmest greetings from Minnesota where our hearts are the warmest as the weather

this year. The global warming must have a positive effect somewhere. No white stuff and no windchills, yet.

Volunteered time, skill, and monetary contributions by Nepalese and friends of Nepal community in Minnesota over the last three years have converted the idea of networking for Nepal into an organization called Empower Nepal Foundation (ENF). ENF is a public supported, 501(c)(3) status, non-profit organization dedicated to bring people and resources together for Nepal.

I am writing this letter to publicly thank all the volunteers, sponsors,

and supporters in Minnesota and elsewhere and specially recognize a few outstanding individuals who have provided significant services to Empower Nepal Foundation. To all Nepal lovers and well-wishers like you,

I am bringing an update of ‘What’s happening with ENF?’ and asking for your support.

Thanks to Krishna B. Shah who has taken the initiative and leadership in

redesigning and maintaining the ENF web site located at
<empowernepal.hypmermart.net> or <www,welcome.to/enf> Please visit the website and learn about ENF organization structure, projects, activities, and how sponsor’s monetary contributions are being used to invest into the future of Nepal.

Nepal, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, is also one of the most loved by Nepalese and friends around the world. The idea of doing something benevolent for Nepal is spreading among Nepal lovers. Thanks to Dr. Murari Suvedi, Jon Hartoug and student volunteers of Semester in Nepal Program at Michigan State University, ENF has started its first chapter at East Lansing, Michigan. The enthusiastic volunteers of ENF-MI Chapter are already raising money and developing programs in Nepal. With your continued support, we hope to sustain and spread this fire of compassion for Nepal by opening more ENF chapters among Nepalese and friends of Nepal communities in the US, Canada, around the world, and in Nepal.

Thanks to Dr. Bal K. Sharma from East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Sharma has

shown an example of how expatriate Nepali individuals can take the initiative and pool resources to support their own communities in Nepal. By working closely with educators and community leaders, Dr. Sharma has initiated a school reconstruction support program at his childhood school in Amppipal, Gorkha, Nepal. The school buildings, originally built by United Mission to Nepal about 50 years ago, are in dilapidated condition and a great hazard to students and teachers. Of a

total estimate of about $16000 needed to reconstruct a 7-classroom building, the community and VDC have committed about $4000 in labor and cash. To date, Dr. Sharma has raised about $4000, and ENF has provided

$1000 as matching support to initiate the project. The school construction will begin this winter, and in coming months, the project plans to raise the remaining money needed to finish the construction work early next year. Where there is a will, there is a way to help Nepal.

I would like to thank Dr. Leonard Skov and applaud the leadership of Mahabir Pun from the University of Nebraska for starting Himanchal Area Foundation at Kearney, Nebraska to support Himanchal High School at Myagdi – a remote district in the mid-western Himalayas. Mahabir Pun’s selfless leadership and his initiative to build and sustain the school through money raised from student and community led income generating endeavors and through internal and external charitable contributions and

volunteered support is a model for Nepal. With Mahabir’s cooperation, ENF has initiated secondary school scholarship program to support talented, underprivileged children graduate through Himanchal High School in rural Myagdi.

Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Sambedan Bhattarai and initiative and enthusiasm of members of ENF Education Committee, ENF has undertaken

a program to develop Education Endowment Fund. ENF’s initial goal is to collect about $18000 towards this fund. Income generated from this fund is estimated to annually support about 40 students to attend secondary schools in a program district. So far ENF has raised about $5000 towards the Endowment Fund and needs to raise $13000 more to meet this goal.

I thank Linda Farthing and Meera Rana from Educate the Children (Ithaca and Kathmandu) for letting ENF invest in ETC’s women’s socio-economic empowerment program in Rasuwa. These dedicated individuals, who run ETC’s well-recognized women’s program in Nepal, believe that children’s

education starts with an enlightened mother. ENF agrees with this premise, and with your support, we hope to continue to chip in for more women’s socio-economic empowerment and health education programs in the future.

My special kudos goes to energetic Nepali students from institutions of higher learning in Minnesota and friends and families in the Twin Cities

area who have volunteered their time and talents to make Nepali cultural events in Minnesota successful. By working together, we have demonstrated that we can raise money for Nepal while sustaining and enjoying the culture of Nepal (such as Nepali New Year celebration in April, Ma-Ha Gai-Jatra program in September, Dashain party and impromptu-Deusi in October). Helping ENF raise money for Nepal has become part of our culture.

I’ll try my best to communicate with you occasionally about the progresses we make and the problems we face. However, I do request you again to make an effort to regularly visit the ENF web site < welcome.to/enf > and help yourself with ENF’s info-menu. Please send your tidbits and articles on your thoughts on what ENF should do for Nepal and on your recollections of experiences from Nepal. The articles will be published in our biannual newsletter ‘ENF Exchange’ which is also posted on the web. Again, your feedback and continued support is extremely important and valuable to us.

Your monetary contributions increase ENF’s collective will and resources

to serve Nepal. ENF volunteers are vigilant in maintaining ENF books and ensure that ENF has timely recognition of your donations and accurate accounting of income and expenses. With volunteer work and in-kind contribution of office supplies and postage, we keep our administrative expenses to bare minimum (< 1% in 1999). We guarantee to transfer 100 percent of your charitable donations to support worthy projects in Nepal.

With your continued support, our collective vigilance, and by working together with principled local community leaders in Nepal, ENF is seeking to establish a trustworthy network of individuals and institutions to ensure that your monetary contributions to ENF are fully

utilized to help needy individuals and communities in Nepal help themselves.

Please be an ENF sponsor and ask others to do so. If you are already supporting ENF or any other worthy cause in Nepal, please continue and feel free to add to your existing level of support. If you have not done so yet, it is time to write the first check to ENF and carry your philanthropic spirit and pledge of support of ‘doing something worthwhile for Nepal’ into the new millennium. Consider this as our collective investment for the future of Nepal.

On behalf of a vigilant ENF Board of Directors, I want to assure you that, with ENF, your satisfaction and trust is guaranteed. And we have

the Y2K-complient address for you to send your donations to: Empower Nepal Foundation, 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. Your donations are tax deductible in the USA.

You can specifically designate your contributions to support existing projects (Education Endowment Fund, Women’s Socio-Economic Program, Ampipal School Reconstruction Fund, Support to ENF-MI Chapter Programs) or as ENF General Fund to support future educational, environmental, and

socio-economic empowerment projects in Nepal.

I thank you again for taking time in reading this rather lengthy letter,

and I promise to write to you only once a year during this time. Again,

please send your check, and please forward this Email and/or printed copies of this letter to your family and friends and ask them to join you in supporting ENF programs in Nepal.

May the coming holiday season and the year 2000 AD and beyond bring you and your loved ones peace, good health, and happiness. May the new millennium strengthen our resolve to continue to love and support Nepal.

Thank you.

Padam Prasad Sharma, President Empower Nepal Foundation. 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 Email: psharma@outtech.com Phone: (651) 644-3733. Website: http://www.welcome.to/enf

REST OF THE WINNERS WILL HELP BUILD A SCHOOL IN NEPAL

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights (MAHR) is selling raffle tickets to raise money for building and supporting schools in developing countries. The goal is to reduce the influx of children into the labor force. Instead of making 'holier than though' speeches in the media about child labor, they have chosen investment in education as the most effective way to eliminate the problem.

Empower Nepal Foundation (ENF) wholeheartedly believes in this premise. ENF and MAHR are coordinating the sale of raffle tickets to build and support their first school project to educate brick workers’ children at Sankhu, Nepal. When I asked, why did you chose to build your first school in Nepal, they replied, ‘there is a tremendous need for education in Nepal and we saw what Nepalese could do with education’. In other words, we get a big bang out of every buck spent on educating the children in Nepal.

The tickets are $10 (US) each, and a drawing will be held on December 28, 1999. Winner receives two airline tickets to Nepal via Northwest Airlines, or $1,000 cash.

Unfortunately, we don’t have time to physically distribute the tickets at your neighborhood. And, we have plenty (100's and 100's) of tickets left unsold. Every ticket left unsold is a loss to needy children of Nepal. So please buy tickets for your family and friends and help sell to others in your workplace and community. Please show that you care.

IF YOU ARE THE LUCKY WINNER, I PROMISE TO INFORM YOU PROMPTLY AND PERSONALLY SUBMIT YOUR WINNING TICKET TO MAHR TO CLAIM THE PRIZE ON YOUR BEHALF.

Since the trip to Nepal will originate in Minneapolis/St. Paul, you and your loved one will be ENF and MAHR’s special guests in the Twin Cities before your departure to Nepal in the year 2000. What a deal!

Here is what we'll do.

1. You send me an email (with your phone number) at psharma@outtech.com or call me or leave a message at (651-644-3733) to reserve your ticket
(s).

2. I'll assign the ticket number(s) in your name and send you an email confirming your assigned ticket numbers.

3. You promptly mail the money or check for the tickets to: Empower Nepal Foundation, 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. Write
'rafle ticket' on the check memo.

4. Please make sure that we get your check(s) by December 18 (Saturday). I’ll promptly acknowledge when we receive the money.

5. I can either hold on to your ticket or mail to you, your choice.
    However, I prefer the former to save the stamp expense and mailing hassles specially at this time of year!. PLEASE SPARE A MINUTE AND ACT IMMEDIATELY. YOUR PROMPTNESS AND SUPPORT WILL HELP A NEPALI CHILD GET AHEAD IN HIS/HER LIFE.

*********************************************************** From: Rokka123@aol.com Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 09:15:56 EST Subject: (no subject) To: tnd@nepal.org

Dear Sir,

I am trying to find the address of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah. I would like to send His Highness a copy of a Hindu Sankrit book that has been recently been published.

Kindly forward me the postal address.

Thank You, Ram Gollakota rokka123@aol.com

**************************************************************** From: "Ehud Choshen" <ehudc@hotmail.com> To: <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> Subject: judges in Nepal Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:23:21 +0200

Dear Ms./Sir

For research purposes, I need some statistical information about Nepal's = judges. Can you E-mail me the amount of all the judges in Nepal? How many of them are women? How many of them are minorities? What is the amount of the supreme court judges?

Thank you in advance, Dr. Ehud Choshen

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