95% targets achieved: Tourism minister

Published On: May 26, 2018 08:25 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, May 26: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, has said that the ministry has achieved 95 percent targets of the 100-day action plan that was unveiled on March 30. He said that around 97 percent of the targets will be achieved by Sunday. 

As per the ministry’s progress report issued on Friday, the major achievement under the 100-day work plan has been the beginning of 21-hour operation of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from May 21. 

Talking about the international airport to be constructed in Nijgadh of Bara district, he said that environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the airport has been approved and all the preparatory works will be completed within two years. 

“We have also started a number of scheduled flights in remote destinations,” he said. “Now the trend of fighting for profitable routes and ignoring the remote routes will end.” 

According to the minister, domestic and international services of Nepal Airlines Corporation will be operated under two different managements. Similarly, parking of aircraft outside the valley will be arranged very soon and all airlines companies will be requested to keep their aircraft on those regional airports for which they have received license. 

“The companies must keep their aircraft at the place they chose while asking for permission,” he said. “On the other hand, they have to provide service on all sectors, not just the profitable ones.” 

Provincial airlines companies will be brought into operation soon for provincial development, he added. 

Meanwhile, a report on airports received by the ministry has said that Nagidanda in Kavre district may be a suitable site for alternative airport. According to the report, 38 percent construction works of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa has been completed. 
Minister Adhikari has committed to complete the Pokhara International Airport within three years. 
On the part of heritage conservation, Pashupati area in Kathmandu has been declared beggar-free zone while a think tank for the tourism, culture and civil aviation sector has been formed under the 100-day plan. Likewise, among the 144 logos submitted, five logos have been shortlisted for the Nepal Visit Year – 2020. On the other hand, a successful test flight has been conducted at Sanfebagar airport on Friday, after a gap of 13 years. Similarly, Rajbiraj airport has also got back into operation, from Thursday, after almost 22 years. 
While presenting the progress of under the action plan, he also pointed out the factors affecting the works of the ministry.
“Earlier, we used to make plan without analyzing the need, costs and other factors. The plans were not objective,” Adhikari said. “Indeed our areas of implementation and the technical capacity have been weak.” 
“The culture, tourism and aviation sectors were facing lack of human resources,” the minister said. “But even the available human resources have not been properly utilized.” 
He further said that these sectors were failing to evaluate work based on performance, and not realizing individual responsibility has made this area weaker.  “We have lack of coordination and also there are a lot of biases around,” he added.

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