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Why government is hell bent for “Nijgadh Airport”

This piece is written giving benefits of doubt to government based on the interview and giving more dimensions to the debate.  Don’t mistake us as supporting the project or advocating for.

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Let’s assume there is no ill intention.  Let’s think Nepal government, or to be more precise, NCP-led government has real good plan and reasoning behind why they want to spend billions of dollars for an airport of Kathmandu size.  Let’s give them all the benefits of doubt – all in good faith.

There is no official statement as such on why but going through old interview in Nepali Times of late Rabindra Adhikari, Aviation Minister then, the man behind bringing back this 90s agenda from coma, had said this in an interview, where he was asked.

Q.  Why this mega Int airport when two more international airports coming up in Bhairawa and Pokhara …

Rabindra Adhikari:  You cannot compare Bhairawa and Pokhara with Nijgad. Not even Kathmandu will match Nijgad Airport’s scale and scope. It will be an international air hub — a real game changer for Nepal’s economy. International flights from over two dozen cities will be landing every day, tens of thousands of passengers will catch connecting flights. Planes will also be making stopovers for refueling. It will be bigger, more advanced and busier than any other airport in Nepal.

Reading between the lines said by Rabindra Adhikari, that is what government is up to — it is making an International Air Hub.

Government is not building this airport to lower air congestion or whatever you call it focusing on Nepalese people alone.  They are up to something bigger and that is Air Hub.

What is Air Hub

Airline hub or hub airport is an airport used by one or more airlines to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a given airport.

To put it in a perspective, let’s say three people from Pokhara are flying to US, 5 from Kathmandu, 2 from Bhairahawa, 1 from Nepalgunj, 10 from Chitwan, and there is only direct flight to US from Nepal.  The airline cannot go to each airport to pick its passengers, so what happens in real world is different airlines bring these people to one airport, from where the direct airline for US to take them.  That one mother of all airport is called Air Hub.

You must be aware that every Nepalese (or Indian) flying to US are generally first taken to Dubai and then from there, will be taken to US.  The Dubai Airport here acts as Air Hub.

That’s basic understanding of Air Hub.

Now, you may say, “But then, even in that case, Nepal does not have that many passengers to cover the handling expenses of Air Hub.”

Exactly.  So that means, government is eyeing to much bigger picture.  They want Nepal to be Air Hub, not to concentrate passengers from different parts of Nepal alone but different countries from South Asia (and other regions) from the continent.  Maybe, they want to be alternate to Dubai or Hong Kong, that Indian flight passengers or Bangaladeshi or Sri Lankian flying to US or Australia to be brought to Nepal, from where direct flights operate.

Air hub is not only about passengers but also to deal with cargoes and many other air-industry related activities.




What’s the benefit

When you are connecting points for everyone, you can earn good money through freight charges, services charges, fuels, and many other trades and charges.  Not just that but also, when you are center point, you attract more businesses around, adding more to GDP.  So basically, huge boost to country’s economy.

Conclusion

Going by the interview, Nijgadh Airport seems like an ambitious investment plan of Nepal government, hoping, if it succeeds to build one, Nepal can get good return along with national pride.  Now, of course, there is a threat from India which only gives one entry point and yet to see how diplomacy will succeed to get India cooperate with Nepal to turn into an Air Hub.

So in case you are thinking and wondering why Nepal needs such a massive airport when we already have 3 international airports, now you have the clue.  Tax payers money is not enough to build such Air Hub by Nepal alone, and it needs to borrow the money from somewhere from someone.  The other side will only give money when they know the plan that seems realistic and feasible.  If Nepal gets the money, there is something really promising in the plan.  At least, let’s hope so, giving the benefits of doubt to the government.

We wrote this piece giving benefits of doubt to government based on the interview and giving more dimensions to the debate.  Don’t mistake us as supporting the project or advocating for.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Amit

    September 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    From my perspective what the political party are planning is different. They don’t want airport or air hub. Nepal sky is not favorable for international airlines to make as a transit point. As first they have to come through India sky. So why not Delhi why Nepal? The main reason behind this drama is the millions of Tree from the Nijghad forest. Which they want to sell for their benefit and as we kno about Melamchi this project will also will be in paper only…

  2. Den

    September 28, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    And what about the environment? Is only the economy everything ? Nepal dont need to be an airhub destination to boost the economy.It has its own uniqueness and It could do more than that for its economy if it really wants and if everyone wants.

  3. Santosh Gautam

    September 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Nothing wrong in supporting either. Any infrastructure development is likely to add in country’s prosperity.

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Arts & Literature

Fractals: The beauty of order within the Chaos

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From the veins of a single leaf to a whole of a rainforest, at first glance everything that’s around seemed random and chaotic. When scientists and mathematicians looked at it no one was particularly intrigued by this unexplainable chaos. This led to everyone curling back to the world they created and could explain. Circles, lines, triangles etc were simple, easy and something that we could easily put into mathematical words as equations. Our artificial world was built around it. But as we went into explaining the true shapes of nature, most of it won’t fit into this simple geometry.

Then in 1980 a mathematician named Benoit Mandelbrot, then working in IBM discovered the Mandelbrot set. His equation looked something like this:

z->z ² + c

 

The equation took an initial number and gave an output and again used the output as initial number. The equation was iterated millions of times. The result was plotted and the figure above is what he got from the plot.

 

This psychedelic looking image when zoomed in on, repeats itself and never ends. The randomness of the simple equation when first plotted with few numbers, after thousands of iteration repeats itself and produces such complex pattern. He named it the “Fractals”, as the geometry was fractured but the shape had order and can be produced by simple equations. This opened up a whole new world of natural mathematics.

From graphically designing mountains, flowing lava in movies to studying the natural phenomenon like weather patterns, building compacted antennas; Fractals geometry had numerous implication. When we search around our real natural world, the pattern of delta formed by rivers, the branching of trees, the inside of our lungs, the beating of our heart and most of the nature is found to be following this fractal geometry.

After watching the world around us through the fractals, this chaotic and random nature has a much simpler order and beauty within the seeming chaos. Pleasing to eyes and satisfying to the soul these fractal patterns, irrespective of naturally occurring or computer generated resonates perfectly with every human to some degree. This leads some to believe that maybe even our mind itself is a fractal, as infinite as it is and well compacted with a skull.

Lichtenberg figure is fractal and closely resembles the thunder-lightning.

 

The shell shows a fractal pattern

 

Veins in leaves are fractals

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Health&Sports

They Need Us !!

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Before going for the Trek & Treat Campaign (Eye Health Screening Camp in remote areas of Nepal) I had some idea about what I would be seeing in those remote villages of Nepal. I was already aware of the fact that many remote places of Nepal are still deprived of basic health care services. I knew that the things we keep hearing on radio and televisions about people dying without getting a mere ORS solutions (Jeevan Jal) is still prevalent in many of such rural areas of Nepal. I also knew that there are many people whose blindness that can be prevented are still living their life in darkness. I always knew that there are people in those remote areas who does not have enough money to come to the city for their treatment. But is knowing things just enough?? Can we do something better than just knowing things? Hopefully we can !!

Let me tell you our journey of the first Trek & Treat Campaign. After 5 hours of hiking from RARA Lake we reached Khatyad, a remote village of Mugu District. The only means of transportation were the mules and there were no signs of proper health care centers around. We were trekking from RARA to Khaptad and Khatyad was on our way of the trekking route. We were prepared with our basic screening instruments and medicines to carry out our first screening camp at Khatyad and it was during our screening camp that I really felt upset about the health care system of our country about which I already knew before. We saw a 28 days old child who had injury in her left eye and needed immediate surgical intervention. Though the treatment of such cases are usually done at free of cost, the parents did not have enough money even to travel to the city. Sadly, the child passed away the next day without proper treatment facility in the village. Knowing things and seeing things were now completely two different things for me. After what I experienced being in that village for a couple of days made me realize that if I do not take things seriously now and work harder to solve this problem (at least the problem of eye health care service from my side) then I would be no different than other people who just know things but do nothing.

We now have dreamt of making Trek & Treat a nationwide health care campaign to reach those people who needs us. To make this happen we need help from everyone around us. Some of us here are Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Physiotherapists, Cardiologists, Writers, Photographers, Content Creators, Bloggers, Drivers, etc, etc. If we can all just spare about couple of days from our busy schedule and work together to help those in need then we can indeed make places like Khatyad a better place with better facilities.

Changes come from ourselves. Please be the change and lead others to make the change.

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Business

Nepal makes major jump in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Ranking 2020

The Doing Business project by World Bank provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. 

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Nepal jumped 16 points to the 94th position on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking for 2020, with DB score of 63.2.

In 2019, Nepal was positioned at 110th rank which was a slip from its 105th  position in 2018.

The Doing Business project by World Bank provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.  Doing Business captures several important dimensions of the regulatory environment as it applies to local firms. It provides quantitative indicators on regulation for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.  Doing Business also measures features of employing workers.



Ranking of doing business topics

Starting a business:

This topic measures the number of procedures, time, cost and paid-in minimum capital requirement for a small- to medium-sized limited liability company to start up and formally operate in each economy’s largest business city.  Nepal ranked 135 among 190 economies in this topic.  

Dealing with Construction Permits

This topic tracks the procedures, time and cost to build a warehouse—including obtaining necessary the licenses and permits, submitting all required notifications, requesting and receiving all necessary inspections and obtaining utility connections. In addition, the Dealing with Construction Permits indicator measures the building quality control index, evaluating the quality of building regulations, the strength of quality control and safety mechanisms, liability and insurance regimes, and professional certification requirements.  Nepal ranked 107 among 190 economies in this topic.  

Getting electricity

The topic measures ease of getting electricity in Nepal by a business firm or warehouse if it has to apply for a new one.  Nepal ranked 135 among 190 economies in this topic.

Registering property

This topic examines the steps, time and cost involved in registering property, assuming a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute. In addition, the topic also measures the quality of the land administration system in each economy.  Nepal ranked 97 in this topic out of 190 economies.

Getting credit

This topic explores two sets of issues—the strength of credit reporting systems and the effectiveness of collateral and bankruptcy laws in facilitating lending.  Nepal has made significant improvement in this front and thus is ranked at 37th position out of 190 economies.

Protecting minority investors

This topic measures the strength of minority shareholder protections against misuse of corporate assets by directors for their personal gain as well as shareholder rights, governance safeguards and corporate transparency requirements that reduce the risk of abuse.  Nepal ranked 79 among 190 economies in this topic.  

Paying taxes

This topic records the taxes and mandatory contributions that a medium-size company must pay or withhold in a given year, as well as the administrative burden of paying taxes and contributions and complying with post-filing procedures (VAT refund and tax audit).  Nepal is quite behind when it comes to ease of paying taxes ranking at 175th position out of 190 economies.

Trading across borders

The topic records the time and cost associated with the logistical process of exporting and importing goods. It also measures the time and cost (excluding tariffs) associated with three sets of procedures—documentary compliance, border compliance and domestic transport—within the overall process of exporting or importing a shipment of goods.  Nepal ranked 60 in this topic.

Enforcing contracts

The enforcing contracts indicator measures the time and cost for resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court, and the quality of judicial processes index, evaluating whether each economy has adopted a series of good practices that promote quality and efficiency in the court system.  Nepal ranked 151 out of 190 economies in this topic.

Resolving insolvency

It deals with the time, cost and outcome of insolvency proceedings involving domestic legal entities.  Nepal ranked 87.


Nepal’s Position in South Asia

Nepal ranks third in South Asia, India being first.

In overall, India jumped 14 places to rank 63.  It also secured its position in Top-10 Improvers.  China ranked 31

Also know this

Top 10 countries on Ease of Doing Business

  1.  New Zealand.
  2.  Singapore.
  3.  Hong Kong China
  4.  Denmark
  5.  Korea Republic
  6.  United States
  7.  Georgia
  8.  United Kingdom
  9.  Norway
  10.  Sweden

Worst 10 countries on Ease of Doing Business

  1.  Somalia
  2.  Eritrea
  3. Venezuela
  4. Yemen
  5. Libya
  6. South Sudan
  7. Central African Republic
  8. Congo
  9. Chad
  10. Timor-Leste

Lastly,

In 2014, Nepal ranked 94th position but then it went on slipping from the position to 110th, until this point where it has bounced back to 94th position.  However, Nepal could not make to Top-20 Improvers list, which is made based on reforms implemented in easing doing business, which should be of concern.

For complete report, click here

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