Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said the basis for political stability is in the making in the country.
He said this in a programme after laying down the foundation stone for construction of the terminal building and expansion of Bharatpur Airport here today. The PM asserted that political stability would be established in the country henceforth.
Stating that he is in the responsibility of the post of the Prime Minister with the resolve to giving a new impetus to Nepal's political stability, PM Dahal said, "I am confident that the political stability will also get new basis. My character and specialty is to accommodate all." He added that he was committed to taking ahead the whole nation towards the direction of development and prosperity by forging broader unity.
According to him, initiation of construction of the terminal building and expansion of flights at Bharatpur Airport now carried separate significance. Flights to and from Bharatpur had started 62 years back.
The Prime Minister said the operation of flights by 72-seat capacity plane would be possible in Bharatpur with the completion of the project and expressed the belief it will contribute to boost up the national economy and not only that of Chitwan.
He said the government is engaged in resolving the problems of the two international airports which have come into operation in Nepal of late.
"I will discuss with importance the matter of the route of international flight during my visit to our neighbouring countries," PM Dahal said, adding the matter of seeking route for international flight from the Lumbini Airport would be discussed during his visit to India and regarding the Pokhara Airport during his visit to China. He also said the government has given importance to and expedited the construction of the Nijgadh Airport. Construction of Nijgadh Airport would be moved ahead along with the construction of the Expressway.
Noting that works on construction of Meghauli Airport in Chitwan have also been started, he said flights from this airport would be operated soon. Premier Dahal believed that development and expansion of the airport would work as a new milestone in terms of tourism development in Chitwan.
On a separate topic, he said work would be started soon for construction of international cricket stadium in Chitwan by resolving the associated problems in one or two weeks.
On the occasion, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sudan Kirati said the government is planning to expand flights in the rural areas as well. "The Ministry is actively working for expansion of air flights which remains as the lifeline of rural areas in the remote places.
"We are actively working to eliminate the questions on air safety and expanding air services even to the rural level," he added.
According to him, the Nepal Airlines Corporation's flights would be made effective and efficient both at the international and domestic level. "There is a plan to operate new flights to touristic areas." He said night flights would also be possible at Bharatpur Airport after its expansion and construction of new terminal building.
Bagmati Province Chief Minister Shaligram Jammakattel viewed that expansion of Bharatpur airport has spread happiness throughout the province. Stating that the second largest airport after Kathmandu in the province is being constructed in Chitwan, he said the provincial government would also provide the necessary support to this.
Bagmati Province Assembly members Uttam Joshi and Hari Sapkota, Bharatpur Metropolitan City mayor Renu Dahal, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) general manager Pradeep Adhikari, among the speakers shed light on the significance of the Bharatpur Airport for the tourism development in the district.
The Bharatpur Airport was constructed in 1958 and the first flight took place from here on March 5, 1961. The runway was expanded 1,158 metres in 1994 while it was asphalted with the support from the Asian Development Bank in 1998.
Although study was carried out in 1998 on upgrading this airport into an international airport, works on this were suspended considering its environmental and ecological consequences. The runway of this airport is 1,200 metres. The airport is spread over 58 bighas land.
After the expansion, the runway will be 1,500 metres long while the new terminal building will have the capacity of handling 1,000 passengers. The two-storied terminal building will of 8,000 square metres covering 14 kaththas area. Additional structures as eight-storied control tower and parking area will also be constructed.
The construction company, KC-Kshyamadevi-Pratishtha JV, has signed a contract of Rs 1.92 billion for carrying out the construction works. The contract term is of three years.