ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Saturday, August 17Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (August 17, 2019).
Kathmandu Valley’s stone spouts were once gushing with water. Now they’re slowly disappearing.
Om Shrestha remembers when the gold-plated stone spout near his home in Patan Durbar Square flowed round the year with water so clear you could drink it straight from the tap. As a child, he would visit the fountains morning and night, using them to bathe, brush his teeth, and collect water for his family for cooking and cleaning. Even in the winter, when water was otherwise scarce in his predominantly Newar neighbourhood, Shrestha would be amazed to find crystalline water still pouring forth from the shiny mouths of the crocodilian motifs that adorned the spouts.
“That’s how it was back then,” said Shrestha, who is now 45 and runs a guesthouse nearby. “We could take a shower, drink from it, do everything, and there was never any shortage.” More here by Chase Brush.
How farmers’ groups siphoned hundreds of thousands by faking documents of the dead
When Fagu Lal Rajbanshi found out that his father, Kaptaan, had received a government grant last year to harvest paddy during the spring season, he couldn’t believe it. Kaptaan Lal Rajbanshi had been dead for more than 20 years.
“My father died in 1992,” Rajbanshi said. “We were surprised to learn that a government grant had been withdrawn in his name.”
Rajbanshi and Gaurigunj residents soon discovered, through records at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, that two others—Nukanu Rajbanshi and Maan Maya Neupane—had also received agriculture grants. They too had been dead for years. Read more by Arjun Rajbanshi.
Nepal-India Joint Commission will only review past agreements, with nothing new on the agenda
With Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arriving on August 21, the long-awaited fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission has nothing new to discuss.
The meeting is taking place after three years, where Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali will be sitting with Jaishankar to discuss and review all aspects of bilateral ties. However, the agenda is likely to rehash issues discussed in the past, rather than anything new, said foreign ministry officials.
This will be the first high-level visit from India since the reelection of Narendra Modi for his second term in May. Jaishankar is a controversial figure in Nepal for his role during India’s 2015 blockade, and his visit comes on the heels of bilateral irritants, including water-logging on the Nepal side of the border due to Indian infrastructure, disputes over pesticide residue tests on imported Indian vegetables and fruits; and the cancellation of the proposed International Indian Film Academy awards. More on that here by Anil Giri.