Crows shut down Nepal govt headquarters

Kathmandu: Crows brought the activities in the main administrative complex in Nepal's capital, housing the Prime Minister's office, to a grinding halt.

No, it was not an avian attack as seen in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller 'The Birds', but only a mishap. Some crows fell on a high-tension line leading to their electrocution and resulting in a 12-hour power outage in the entire Singhdurbar area in the heart of Kathmandu yesterday.

The complex houses the Prime Minister's Office, several ministries and the Parliament building.

Government employees returned to work yesterday after ending a five-day strike for pay hike, but the offices could not resume functioning as there were no lights, no computers running, no fans operating, no air-conditioning and no fax operating for nearly the whole day.

The power cut started at 6 am in the morning and lasted till 5.30 in the afternoon, when offices were already closed.

This is unprecedented in the history of Singhdurbar Secretariat, an official told The Kathmandu Post.

"There was a short circuit after some crows landed on the main power line," said Khagendra Bhandari from the maintenance division of Nepal Electricity Authority.

The Supreme Court, situated nearby, also suffered power outage and only 25 per cent of hearings were held on the day.

There was no power back-up system in the secretariat as well as in the court. "This has given a lesson to us that a back-up system is required," an official said.

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