February 23, 2017

Melting Glaciers May Impact Hydropower Plans

The Karakorum glaciers [image via thethirdpole.net, courtesy earthobservatory.nasa.gov]

The World Water Week has put the focus back into shrinking glaciers but the jury is still out on the impacts they will have on the flow in snow-fed rivers and hydropower generation. Read More »

View from India: Fresh Turmoil in Kathmandu

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. (Photo via video stream)

The K.P. Oli-led government has managed to stave off yet another crisis after Maoist leader Prachanda flip-flopped on the issue of withdrawal of support. However, more instability looms ahead. Read More »

China’s Influence in Nepal Endangers Tibetan Refugees

Buddhist flags – people have freedom of religion in Nepal, which is why so many Tibetan Buddhists have stayed there. (Photo by Emily Korstanje, via New Internationalist)

The country's impact on Nepalese politics makes life for Tibetans there extremely difficult. Read More »

Finally, Nepal Gets a Constitution

(Photo by Julia Manzerova, Creative Commons License)

First promised over a half a century ago, Nepal's new constitution is surprisingly progressive. But it's led to tensions with neighboring India and with underrepresented ethnic groups. Read More »

Why Nepal is So Prone to Earthquakes

A glimpse of devastation in Nepal after the April 25 devastating earthquake. (Photo by SIM Central and South East Asia, Creative Commons License)

The earthquake that struck Nepal was caused by the same forces that built the Himalayas, and science is helping predict where the next quake might strike. Read More »

Crafting a Constitution for Nepal

Supporters of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist at a rally in Kathmandu. (Photo by Natalio Pérez, CC license)

In Nepal, there are hurdles to the constitution drafting that have to be resolved urgently if the radical leftists and the royalist right are not to blow away hard-won freedoms. As a player in Nepal politics, the best support India can provide is by staying outside the convention of constitution writing. Read More »

India, Nepal Sign Deal to Build Another Mega-dam

Nepal’s hydropower potential is estimated to be about 80,000 MW, of which only 700 MW has been exploited. (Photo by Global Water Partnership, via thethirdpole.net)

As Nepal signs a deal with India to build another 900 MW dam during the Indian prime minister’s visit to Kathmandu, concerns grow that the rush to develop hydropower is misguided Read More »

South Asia’s March Towards Ultra-populism

(L to R) National monuments of Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. (Image by ViewsWeek via Creative Commons photos)

In each South Asian country, the no-go areas of discourse are proliferating rather than decreasing as the state establishments deploy ultra-populism. In response, the intelligentsia cowers, the “opinion-makers” are dehumanized as they take to weighing what to say and what to leave unsaid. Read More »

Nepal: After the Storm

DISASTROUS AUTUMN: The storm came in October, when locals and trekkers least expected it. Nepal Army helicopters arrived on the morning after to ferry out the survivors of the blizzards and avalanche in Manang. (Photo via Nepali Times)

In a rare occurrence, a cyclone that started in the Bay of Bengal caused an avalanche in the Himalayas, killing at least 40 in Nepal. The even was a wakeup call to install effective early warning weather systems in mountainous Nepal’s higher reaches. Read More »

South Asia Needs to Face up to Water and Energy Dilemma

India’s annual water withdrawal is the highest in the world, but its water productivity is one of the lowest. (Image from Greenpeace via thethirdpole.net)

South Asia’s water and energy crises are deeply intertwined. Growing energy demand drives water shortages and lack of water fuels power outages. Regional cooperation – such as power trading between countries – could ease tightening resource constraints but such solutions have been largely scuppered by political suspicions. Read More »