POKHARA/MUSTANG, May 11: Mustang is all set to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday at Muktinath temple.
“Modi will be the first foreign guest to pay homage at the main sanctum of Muktinath temple when he offers his prayers on Saturday,” said Krishna Prasad Subedi, the chief priest of the temple adding that all arrangements have been made for PM Modi's visit.
According to the chief priest, all the materials necessary for the puja will be brought from Pokhara.
“Modi's planned visit four years ago was cancelled in the last minute. Efforts were made in between too,” said Subedi, adding, “I have come to know that he is a devout Hindu and has a great faith in god. His visit will attract Indian pilgrims to Muktinath.”
Subedi believes that Modi's visit is a matter of joy for the entire Nepali public.
The local administration, civil society leaders, political parties are all prepared to welcome PM Modi. Chief District Officer of Mustang Shishir Paudel informed that all the preparations have been completed. Works related to management, decoration, and renovation of 108 taps of Muktinath have been completed.
“Modi will travel to Muktinath directly from Kathmandu by a helicopter,” said CDO Paudel. According to him, construction of physical infrastructures needed for the helipads have been completed.
CDO Paudel informed that security arrangements have already been managed. According to him, Nepal Police has been assigned to form the first layer of security while the Armed Police Force and Nepal Army will form the outer circles. The security forces will be joined by Indian forces too.
Five helipads have been constructed in the vicinity of the temple. Similarly, an ICU has been built to tackle the probable problem of high altitude sickness. A welcoming party consisting of local representatives, politicians and other dignitaries has been formed. The temple premises will be closed to tourists from 4 pm Friday till Saturday noon.
An alternative route has been set for trekkers. According to sources, Modi will walk for 15 minutes after getting off the helicopter.
On Thursday, an off-season avalanche had caused some problem during the preparations. But the weather of Muktinath has improved since then. Sunshine has returned and the temperature has increased while snow has started melting. Four-feet thick snow is still seen at some places though.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari and Chief Minister of Province 4 Prithvi Subba Gurung will welcome Modi at Muktinath. Members of parliament, CDO and village council chairpersons will also be present. A special task force of Nepal Army has reached Muktinath to conduct a search operation around Muktinath.