Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trouble connecting

The lack of electricity in Nepal has resulted in a number of unusual repercussions. Among them a weakening of the mobile phone network. As reported in the Himalaya Times this week:

Power Outage Causing Mobile Network Failure
Kathmandu, January 15

If your mobile phone is behaving erratically, this time don't blame Nepal Telecom (NT) only. Prolonged power cuts have created additional hazards in the mobile networks as BTS towers, the network providers, are not getting sufficient amount of charge. Of the 350 BTS towers in Kathmandu valley, some 22 BTS towers have stopped working due to the 16-hour load-shedding each day.

Complete article here.

And it's not just the mobile network, either. Mutsumi today sent me this translation of a notice appearing on the website of the Japanese embassy in Kathmandu. Apparently they've been having trouble with their landline.

Regarding the disconnection of the phone/fax lines

Our telephone and fax have been out of order. It looks like the intermediate distribution frame, which includes our line, was damaged when someone made a bonfire from a pile of rubbish to warm themselves.

Since it will take about a week to rebuild the destroyed system, please call the number below in case of emergency.

Bonfires in the winter are a common sight, even in the city, but I wonder if the fire that damaged the embassy's phone line wasn't meant to clear up some of the garbage that's been accumulating on city streets this week. The neighborhood that hosts Kathmandu's landfill has been protesting again and blocking the dumping of trash.

Villagers bar KMC from landfill site
Kathmandu, January 14

Kathmandu Municipal Corporation has not been able to collect garbage for the last few days due to a dispute between locals of two villages of Nuwakot and Dhading, on whose border the landfill site is located.

The collection was also hit after the locals of Chhatredeurali VDC in Dhading announced to bar trucks carrying garbage from entering the landfill site unless the government meets their 16-point demand.

Complete article here.



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