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Dhurmus-Suntali leads construction of second model settlement at Melamchi

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MELAMCHI — Nepal’s prevalent parody couple Dhurmus-Suntali is constructing earthquake-resistant integrated model houses in Tamang community at Melamchi municipality-8, Giraunchaur of earthquake worst-hit Sindhupalchowk district.

Before this, artist duo Sitaram Kattel (Dhurmus) and Kunjana Ghimire (Suntali) had established integrated model settlement for quake-hit people at Pahari village of Kavrepalanchow district in the aftermath of the 25 April 2015 earthquake.

They are constructing 64 houses with a community hall at the Tamang community of Giranchaur as a relief for economically weak and backward communities, said Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation Chairperson Sitaram Kattel.

He shared that the construction of the houses has started since last Wednesday in a way to accommodate 515 dependant members of 65 families. The to-be-constructed houses will be child-friendly, disabled-friendly and environment-friendly adopting the concept of green city and clean city, Kattel further informed.

He said that they had initiated the philanthropic works of constructing houses for earthquake survivors with high courage when they had limited fund of Rs 174,000 for the same.

The construction of a community building normally costs Rs 1.5 to Rs 2.0 million and each residential house construction requires budget around Rs 690,000, he added.

Artist duo Durmus and Suntali expressed their confidence that the people will also provide cooperation and support to their bid to construct houses for the quake hit-hard.

The National Reconstruction Authority and Ministry of Local Development are collaborating for the construction of 65 houses. The plan is to complete the construction in a way to hand over to the earthquake survivors within October 30, Kattel further shared.

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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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