KATHMANDU — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed its grave concerns over ‘slow implementation’ of the development projects funded by it in Nepal.
Some ADB high officials expressed this worry during the Tripartite Portfolio Review Meeting of the development projects implemented with the loan or grant assistance provided by the ADB here today.
In the meeting, officials of the concerned Nepali authorities acknowledged that the pace of implementation of the development projects could not be sped up due to domestic and external reasons. They said they have given special emphasis on inter-ministry coordination and cooperation in carrying out the projects.
Among the key challenges of development projects as identified in the meeting are: weak project management capacity of executing/implementing agencies, delay in procurement and disbursement, high risk in procurement and contract administration, poor contractor and consultant performance and weak inter-agency coordination.
It pointed out the challenges related to environment/forest clearance, land acquisition, aggregates and coordination with other utilities. The meeting also recommended various actions for addressing these challenges.
ADB Country Director for Nepal, Kenichi Yokoyama, said the last year’s similar meeting had formulated 22 action plans for the expeditious implementation of four projects in the energy sector; but only 11 of them were implemented.
Likewise, these projects missed seven targets and four action plans were not complied to, he pointed out.
He expressed concerns over the halt of the Tribhuvan International Airport expansion project due to lack of soil, adding that the project management was also weak.
The project has been hampered after the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) filed a case at the Special Court against the government’s decision citing it could not provide the soil required for the airport expansion project.
Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer
Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.
The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.
The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.
For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.
Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.
However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.
“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.Follow @gorkhapost