Karnali corridor opens door to prosperity

Published On: January 27, 2023 11:44 AM NPT By: Lalit Bista

KALIKOT, Jan 27: The Karnali Corridor, which was started for the development of the Karnali region, which is lagging behind in every aspect of development, has been linked by the residents of this area with their destiny and future. Karnali Corridor, considered as 'South and North Axis Growth', will connect Nepal, China and India.

If the Karnali Corridor is opened, Humla will be also connected  while it is the only district that is not connected to the national road network. The highway will extend from Hilsa in Humla, bordering China, to Jamunah, bordering India in Banke. It has been 21 years since the track was named Karnali Corridor.

The distance from Banke's Jamunah in Karnali Corridor to Surkhet, Dailekh, Kalikot, Bajura to Simikot in Humla to Hilsa, border area of China is 682 km. It is 410 km from Birendranagar, the headquarter of Karnali province, to Hilsa in Humla. The Karnali Corridor, which is the center of hope for the people of Karnali, has been opened by the Nepal Army, which has been tasked with opening the 196 km road track from Narharinath Rural Municipality-8 Khulalu in Kalikot to Salisalla in Humla.

The Hilsa-Humla road project has taken over 146 km from Hilsa in Humla to Salisalla, border of China. The work on that road section is also going on rapidly. After the completion of the construction of the road section, which was started by the Nepali Army from March 19, 2015, it was handed over to the Hilsa-Simikot road project under the Road Department on July 15, 2021.

From Khulalu in Kalikot to Salisalla in Humla under the Karnali Corridor, 196 kilometers of the roads under the responsibility of the Nepali Army have been constructed and vehicles have started to ply. According to the Hilsa Humla Road Project, the rest of the road section is under construction.

"Of the 146 kilometers undertaken by the Hilsa-Humla road project of the Nepal government, 95 kilometers of the road from Hilsa to Simikot in Humla have been constructed," he said, adding that the project will be completed after opening five kilometers of the road under the Karnali Corridor. Yadav said that there was a problem in the work due to heavy stony cliffs. He informed that the Nepalese army is also working on the Humla road section with the help of explosives.

Expansion of market area

Economic activity has started to increase after vehicles started moving in Karnali Corridor. Economic activity has been boosted by land transactions and trade potential in areas where there is a market around the corridor area.

From Khulalu in Kalikot to Salisalla in Humla, dozens of places have expanded as markets, said Chiranjivi Shahi, the former chairman of Bajura Swamikatika Rural Municipality. "Vehicles have started plying from Khulalu in Karnali Corridor to Salisalla in Humla", he said, "Now dozens of places on this road section have been developed as markets."

Khulalu, Lalighat, Regil, Shantighat, Bhurabgar, Bhattadi, Ghatparichaur, Jitegada, Jarkot, Kolti Pilichaur of Amtada Bajura, Dhulachaur of Himali Rural Municipality and others have been developed as markets. Bhimprasad Acharya of Kalikot Pachaljharna said that these markets have started to be established as trading centers.

"The areas here on the Karnali coast were just unused in the past", he said, "Now they have developed as a trading post."

"We have been encouraging those who invest in the agricultural sector", he said, "After the Karnali Corridor has come into operation, it has become easier for locals to sell the agricultural products produced here."

In the past, apples produced in Swamikartik Khapar Rural Municipality of Bajura district were not sold, so cows and buffaloes had to be fed. Now there is no problem in marketing after the road is operational.

In the past, the residents of the corridor area, who were limited to farming to support their families, have now started earning income through various professions. Even people who had no source of income in the past have now started hotel business in the market area. Dev Jung Shahi, Chairman of Pachal Jharna Rural Municipality, says, "Nowadays, there has been an increase in other businesses including hotels in the corridor area.” People have started getting good income, he added.

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