Painting exhibition in US to assist Nepal

A two-day painting exhibition kicked off in Virginia, US on Thursday in order to generate funds to extend support to Nepal. The event is organized by Engage Nepal, an organization established in the US and working for the support of children in Nepal.

Sixty paintings are on display in the Reston Art Gallery of Virginia. The paintings are the creations of noted painter Kiran Chitrakar. The creations would also be sold at the exhibition. There are also paintings from Uganda.

On the occasion, Executive Director of the organizing body and former Ambassador of the US to Nepal, Scott H DeLisi, viewed that the proceeds gained from the sale of paintings would be used to various organisations in Nepal including to Nepal-Korea Friendship Municipal Hospital for setting up an ICU.

DeLisi further informed that Engage Nepal was established in the US in 2015. It has implemented 16 projects so far. Earlier, the organization had provided the health and safety materials to Nepal in the COVID-19 crisis.

It has spent 211,000 US Dollars in 2021 alone. Living a retired life, DeLisi said to the National News Agency (RSS), “I worked in the State agency for long. In my life, the intimacy with Nepal and Nepali bears much significance.”

Source: National News Agency Nepal

´╗┐Otical fiber backbone project: fiber laid on1,600 kilometers

Optical fiber has been installed along 1,600 kilometers length so far under the Optical Fiber Backbone Network Expansion Project across the country.

Nepal Telecom Authority (NTA) had initiated the project with a goal of expanding optical fiber network within two years, but only 46.16 per cent of work has been completed till July 15.

The Nepal Telecom, which had got responsibility of laying optical fiber in province 1, 2 and Bagmati Province under the first phase, has completed installing the optical fiber in these areas.

As per the agreement, the NT has to install optical fiber along 2,083 kilometers in three provinces. Of them, it has laid fiber along 1,006 kilometers in five years. The NTA had given the responsibility to install fiber at 6,235 kilometers of mid-hill highway to three separate companies dividing the project in three sections.

Out of three sections, fiber laying work has been started, the work has not started yet. The NTA had signed agreement with Nepal Telecom on September 28, 2012 in order to lay fiber from eastern Nepal to Gorkha within two years under the first section.

NTA Spokesperson Santosh Poudel said that the Nepal Telecom had started laying optical fiber from mid-May 2019.

He shared the Nepal Telecom has given responsibility to five companies to lay optical fiber and purchase goods for the same in three provinces under the first section.

Works on two sections stalled

Works have not begun in two sections of the information superhighway expansion project divided into three sections. The installation of optical fibre has not begun in the 2,160 kilometres in 21 districts of Gandaki and Lumbini provinces under Section-2.

Although NTA has given the responsibility to the United Telecom (UTL) for the expansion, the expansion works are halted as a case has been filed against it in the Supreme Court. The NTA had signed a contract worth Rs 2.01 billion with UTL on May 8, 2017.

NTA annulled the contract with UTL on May 9, 2019 citing the latter failed to start works on the project within the specified period. After this, UTL moved the Supreme Court.

Under the project, optical fibre of 98 core would be installed along the Mid-Hill highway, of 48 core would be laid down along the roads linking the district headquarters and the Mid-Hill highway with the East-West highway while optical fibre of 24 core would be installed alongside the roads connecting the municipalities.

NTA is refusing to continue the project with Smart Telecom as the firm has not been able to make tangible progress in the project works despite repeated directions from the authority.

Though NTA is in the mood to award the optical fibre laying project across the Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim province to a new company, it is still undecided on when to open the new tender.

Though Smart Telecom was supposed to lay the optical fibre cables along almost 2,500 kilometres in different parts of the two aforementioned provinces, it has so far laid only 20 kilometres of optical fibre, as per NTA. In the case of UTL, which was supposed to lay optical fibre across almost 2,000 kilometres in Gandaki Province and Lumbini Province, it has not even started the project work. As UTL failed to comply with the project agreement, NTA had scrapped the project contract with UTL.

However, NTA is yet to appoint a new developer of the project in these two provinces. Similarly, Nepal Telecom, that is supposed to lay optical fibre across Provinces 1, 2 and Bagmati Province has just started the project citing different procedural hurdles. As none of these firms have been able to give proper shape to the optical fibre project, the project worth billions of rupees faces uncertainty at the moment. NTA is funding these projects through the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund.

Meanwhile, Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, said that the authority will soon take necessary decisions regarding the project in consultation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

The project envisages connecting 32 districts in Provinces 1, 2 and Bagmati with high-speed optical fibre to allow fast data transfers and voice and video calls, according to the state-owned telecom giant.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

Motivating Sanskrit song on masking unveiled online

A Sanskrit-language song on masking has been unveiled here today. Organizing a Zoominar, the song titled ‘Maskam Dharaya’ which translates literally as ‘mask on’ was unveiled in presence of Nepal’s noted songwriters Krishnahari Baral and Dinesh Adhikari.

The music video of the song is uploaded in OSR Digital, the music sharing youtube channel of Nepal. Maskam Dharaya is a song penned by Dr. Bhawani Shankar Bhattarai, directed by Sanket Agasti and collectively sung by seven singers.

The seven singers are Bishwa Nepali, Lochan Bhattarai, Sanket Agasti, Naresh Bhurtel, Bunu Shrestha, Sakshi Agasti and Shrey Agasti. Sanket Agasti has worked on musical section with support from Nagendra Ria on flute and Sanjeeb Subba on guitar.

The music video of the song stars Deepashree Niraula in the lead and five others including Ranu Niraula, Shishir Bhandari, GB Chiran, Riwaj Gautam and Shivangi Chhetri.

According to Avimanyu Avijit, one of the members of the production team of this song, COVID-19 related masking song was a part of series of activities run by Jayatu Sanskritam Nepal, a Sanskrit movement team of Nepali Sanskrit enthusiasts, experts and professionals.

”There are many in Nepal who are interested in Sanskrit literature and music because we have many who understand Sanskrit and love this ancient language which is also the mother of many South Asian languages,” said Avijit. He added, ”Maskam Dharaya is meant to serve as a catalyst to boost the Sanskrit enthusiasm in Nepal and abroad”.

The message delivered by the song is also shared in English subtitles in the video of the song.

Source: National News Agency Nepal