POKHARA, Basudev Poudel/Krishna Dawadi – With the inauguration of the International Airport in Pokhara on Sunday, the touristic city has achieved its dreams cherished for some five decades ago.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ inaugurated the airport amid a grand ceremony that was attended by thousands of local residents to high-level politicians and ministers. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, Gandaki Province Chief Prithvi Man Gurung, Chief Minister of Gandaki Province Krishna Chandra Nepali and others were present in the ceremony.
Stretched in 3,900 ropanis of land, the airport was constructed with the total investment of Rs 22 billion, which was received as loan assistance from China’s EXIM Bank. In his inaugural speech, PM Prachanda hoped that the airport would make outstanding contribution to the country’s economic development, not merely of Gandaki Province and added that the airport would now link Pokhara to the international cities.
Deputy Prime Minister Poudel and Chief Minister of Gandaki Province Krishna Chandra Nepali expressed their confidence that the airport would be crucial for economic development and prosperity of the province. With the construction of the airport, Pokhara is directly linked to the international cities and its tourism activities are expected to grow exponentially, thanks to the added infrastructures.
The then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid a foundation stone of the airport in May 2016 and the Chinese company CMCE was entrusted with the responsibility of its construction. The tourism entrepreneurs in Pokhara and nearby areas have expressed their hope for tourism boom, adding that operation of the airport in the New Year was really meaningful. As per the government data, as high as 45 per cent of the total tourists visiting Nepal arrive in the Lake City Pokhara.