PM Koirala lays foundation stone of Gautam Buddha Int'l Airport

Butwal, Jan 15: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has expressed the belief that development would take pace along with peace and stability in the country. Addressing a function after laying the foundation stone of the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa today, he said efforts were still afoot to disrupt the peace process and therefore called on all the Nepalis to unite to take the country's development forward.

           

Premier Koirala said there are abundant resources which are the basis for the country's development and underlined the need of seizing this opportunity given the great potentiality for tourism development.

 

"Nepal and the Nepalis should now get rid of violence and insecurity; we cannot tolerate under any circumstance, the disturbance in peace, and the law and order situation. The time has now come for the people to speak out," he said.

           

PM Koirala urged the construction company responsible for the airport construction to pay special attention to maintaining the quality and standards of works in this present age of competition.

           

Stating that nobody could at present mar the development potentials in Nepal, he said investors were excited in investing in all areas of such ambitious development projects like the construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport.

           

"We should give a fillip to the pace of development by establishing peace and the people should stop those who are after spoiling peace," the Prime Minister added.

           

Referring to the constitution writing process, Prime Minister and president of the Nepali Congress Koirala said, "Consensus comes first while writing a constitution, and if there is no consensus then adopting the due process is important in a democracy. Parties should accept the process if consensus bid fails. But still there are some forces that do not want peace and constitution."

           

Noting that the Lumbini area is an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists, the Prime Minister said there is ample opportunity for the promotion of religious tourism with the construction of an international airport at such an important place.

           

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Deepak Chandra Amatya, expressed the confidence that the tourism development of the entire Lumbini region would pick up after the construction of the international airport.

           

Former minister and Constituent Assembly member Bishnu Poudel called on the investors and the construction company to complete this ambitious project in time and within the estimated cost, saying it was equally challenging to start and complete any project.

           

He also asked the local stakeholders to be conscious so that the project is not delayed, its estimated cost increased and the construction works are substandard.

           

Likewise, lawmaker and leader of the Nepali Congress Balkrishna Khan said construction of the airport that is underway construction would contribute promoting the tourism and economic activities of this region which would be a milestone for the national economic prosperity as well.

 

Lawmaker Dipak Bohara stressed on the need of making visionary plans for the development of Lumbini so that more tourists would be encouraged to visit the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

 

Similarly, leader Sharbendra Nath Shukla said the airport construction was a need of the country and that it also could an additional step for the development of the Lumbini region.

 

Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudyal expressed his happiness for the construction of the airport is started after seven years of survey adding that the tourism development and economic growth were the strong bases for the national development like the country, Nepal.

 

Managing Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Ratishchandra Lal Suman presented the information regarding the construction of the Airport and said "The Airport will be constructed under the loan assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chinese North-West Civil Aviation Airport Construction Company, has responsibilities of constructing the airport at Rs 6.22 billion. The construction works are to be concluded by the next three years."

 

The runway will have to be extended to 3,000 meters from the current 1,500 to meet the international standard.

 

Suman said "The runway will be extended to 3,000 metres, a diversion will be constructed at Dhagra rivulet, and an international apron well equipped terminal building will be constructed as per the physical infrastructure development programme of the project."

 

CAAN believes that after the upgrading of the airport, it would provide an alternative landing facility for the airplanes coming on international flights to Kathmandu. Big aircraft like Airbus A 340 and Boeing 777 can also land after the Gautam Buddha Airport is upgraded.

           

Its construction would also help ease the increasing air traffic at the Tribhuvan International Airport, the country's only international airport. A master plan has been prepared to enable for handling 6 million passengers with the upgrading of the Gautam Buddha International Airport, according to CAAN.

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