KATHMANDU, Jan 28: The government has said that it will expedite works for the expansion and upgradation of Bharatpur Airport.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai, speaking in a stakeholders meeting organized in Kathmandu on Monday, said that the ministry will immediately proceed for the airport's expansion and upgradation. “The work will take place after coordination and collaboration with concerned ministries, stakeholders and local level government,” he said, “And we will proceed after the preparation of the final report on the basis of suggestions from the concerned bodies.”
The discussion on the scopes and challenges of the upgradation of Bharatpur Airport was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Pushpakamal Dahal, chairman of the Nepal Communist Party, Ishwar Pokharel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Renu Dahal, mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, secretaries of different ministries and high-level officials of the Nepal Army were present in the discussion.
Speaking at the meeting, Dahal said, “The expansion and upgradation of the airport located in Chitwan, was absolutely mandatory.” He said the work for the expansion was taking place in close coordination with all ministries and concerned government bodies. Mentioning about the rapid urbanization of Chitwan, he said that secured and managed airport is mandatory in the area.
Defence Minister Pokharel said that the government and Nepal Army are determined to help the expansion work at the airport. “Nepal Army will not create any problems in the expansion of the airport,” he said in the context of Horse Breeding Center of Nepal Army and Kali Bahadur Battalion being obstruction for the expansion of the airport.
Similarly, Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, Renu Dahal said that the airport is located in the central part of the country, and it was necessary to be developed as the major airport for Bagmati province. “The airport will be used the most because Chitwan is being developed as educational and medical hub in recent days,” said Dahal.
Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and coordinator of the task force created to study necessity, technical, social and financial part of the expansion and upgradation of Bharatpur Airport, presented the preliminary report in the meeting.
Domestic airlines Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines have been operating daily flights to Bharatpur Airport. Chitwan is considered the third popular tourist destination after Kathmandu and Pokhara.