Kathmandu: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai has said tourism promotion is the first condition for achieving prosperity.
Inaugurating Chandeshwori Airport in Okhaldhunga amidst a program here Monday, the Minister said Nepal’s diversity and identity was unique in the world and we could find our goals for development by bringing about more and more tourists to enjoy such uniqueness.
The government is committed to the development of tourism sector as it has acknowledged it as the first condition for prosperity, according to him. “The government is in the process of accomplishment of ‘prosperous Nepal, happy Nepali’ campaign and the tourism is the short route for reaching the destination,” the Minister said who hoped that the Visit Nepal Year 2020 would come up with some indicators of success.
“The government has announced 100 tourism destinations and is working for infrastructure development in some touristic areas,” he said, calling upon all the three-tier government to accord the first priority to tourism development.
On the occasion, he spent some time for unofficial interactions with a group comprising people’s representatives and tourism entrepreneurs. Talking about high potentiality of tourism development in this district of eastern Nepal, he stressed the need of operating the airport regularly. Besides, he pledged support from the government level to boost up the district’s tourism.
He shared that the district-based touristic sites remained in the list of new tourism destinations announced in view of the Visit Year 2020 and underlined the need of making the Year successful. He took time to give his words for making initiations to ensure that regular flights are operated at Rumjatar and Chandeshwori airports.
Also speaking on the occasion, lawmaker Yagyaraj Sunuwar said with Chandeshwori Airport coming into operation, all villages in the district had turned out to be easily accessible. Former lawmaker Ramhari Khatiwada said he from the individual level created pressure for contractors to complete the project in time.
He advised people’s representatives and ministers not to run after earning popularity, but make people realised that something good happened for them. On Monday, the Tara Air conducted its test flight at Chandeshwori Airport.
Though the project had begun long back ago, the airport was readied for flight with a graveled runaway and a temporary tower house after 13 years. The contract price was Rs 20,533,740 including VAT. Airport’s total length is 650 meters and it has the capacity of welcoming two Twin-Otter at once. Construction of a waiting room for passengers and other infrastructure including a security post and a landslide fencing wall area awaited.
As better late than never, locals are delighted upon seeing the arrival of aircraft in their village. Everest climber Pemba Sherpa viewed that it was a matter of happiness that finally we had access to flight service. The use of Chandeshwori Airport will be cheaper for foreign tourists arriving to enjoy a view of the Mt. Everest.
According to Khijidemba rural municipality-4 (ward) chair Kamal Prasad Neupane, people of western part of the district will be benefitted much if the airport finds an atmosphere for conducing regular flights. In absence of reliable transport facility, they are forced to charter helicopter for emergency purposes (RSS).
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