Charikot Bazaar, the district headquarters of Dolakha district. Photo: Republica
DOLAKHA, June 26: Bhimeshwar Municipality Office has started internal study for building an airport in the municipality.
The municipality started study for the airport, taking into consideration rise in number of tourists visiting the district, increased movement of people due to under-construction hydropower projects, and the sorry state of only road that connects the district to Kathmandu – the capital city.
The second meeting of Bhimeshwar Municipal Council held in Charikot has allocated a budget of Rs 200,000 to conduct feasibility study for the airport.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Mayor Kamala Basnet stated that the municipality was focusing on infrastructure development, including building an airport, for overall development of Bhimeshwar Municipality. “As per the wish of the local people, we are conducting feasibility study for the airport so that people here have easy access to the federal capital,” she added.
According to Basnet, the road connecting the district with Kathmandu is in bad shape and during monsoon; there is an increased risk of unforeseen catastrophes like landslides. “Furthermore, as the number of vehicles plying the road is increasing with each passing year, transportation via aerial route would be much convenient,” she added.
Officials of the municipality have identified three probable sites to build the airport. “As of now, we have kept three locations in Wards 6, 7 and 8 in priority. We will look for other locations too,” added Basnet.
One of the areas that the municipality has selected is Ekle Salla which lies at Ward 6 near Charikot Bazaar. The area has both private and public land. Similarly, the probable site in Ward 7 lies in Thang Deurali Community Forest, while Bhitteri Community Forest of Ward 8 is the other probable site.
“We will finalize the land after conducting needful studies,” she added.
As Charikot is the hub for all nine local units of Dolakha, people here have been demanding that the government build an airport here since long. Popular destinations like Kalinchowk, Shailung, Jiri, Tso-Rolpa, Bhimeshwor Temple and some of the tourist destinations of Dolakha. Tourist flow to these destinations is seeing a significant rise in recent years. Similarly, movement of visitors is increasing in the district due to construction of different hydropower projects.
TOURISM GETS PRIORITY
The municipality has given special emphasis to tourism in its budget for Fiscal Year 2018/19. It has allocated Rs 21.8 million for preservation of cultural heritage sites and to make preparation to enlist Bhimeshwar as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The municipality has also allocated funds for identification of adventure tourism products and destinations. Likewise, it has decided to build a tourism information center having cafeteria facility.
Similarly, building a hermitage in the name of Khaptad Baba, Thami museum and decoration of the city areas are the other programs included in the budget.