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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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25 Ghariyal crocodiles released into Rapti River from CNP

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CHITWAN — Twenty-five Ghariyal species of crocodiles from the crocodile breeding centre in Chitwan National Park (CNP) were released into Rapti River on Friday.

The act of releasing crocodiles into the natural habitat was carried out differently this time, with the involvement of local Bote, Majhi and Musahar communities.

The crocodiles were named after the three communities in a symbolic way to help preserve the endangered species.

The initiative was carried out by the National Trust for Nature Conservation, Chitwan with support of Zoological Society of London in Nepal.

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This innovative way of marking the crocodiles was carried out with the objective of increasing awareness of the locals in the protection and conservation of wildlife, said protection officer at CNP, Ved Bahadur Khadka.

Ghariyal species of crocodiles are now limited to Chitwan and Bardia only, and so far more than 1,000 Ghariyals have been released into the rivers. But only few have survived.

Latest census indicates there are only 198 of them in the rivers of Nepal. The crocodile breeding centre in CNP has 595 crocodiles at present, with a plan to release around 100 of them into their natural habitat this year.

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