Tourism entrepreneurs urge for timely completion of Mugling-Pokhara road improvement works

By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Pokhara– Tourism industry leaders in Pokhara, along with local residents, have issued a plea to expedite the ongoing road improvement efforts along the Mugling-Pokhara section of the Prithvi Highway. T

Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC) and its associated organizations have urged Chinese contractors and concerned parties to ensure the timely completion of the road enhancement works. These improvements are being carried out as part of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Mugling–Pokhara Highway Improvement Phase 1 Project, which is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

During a press conference held in Damauli, Tanahun on Sunday, PTC Chairman Pom Narayan Shrestha highlighted the detrimental impact of the sluggish pace of improvement works on tourism businesses. He emphasized the paramount importance of completing the enhancement works within the stipulated timeframe. Shrestha pointed out that travel time between Pokhara and Kathmandu has doubled, taking up to 12 hours, due to the disorganized construction efforts in this road segment.

Ananda Raj Mulmi, former Chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, expressed concerns about the slow progress of the improvement works potentially tarnishing the reputation of the Chinese government for timely and high-quality work. These contracts however are of the Chinese contractor companies but not of the Chinese Government.

The road upgrade project has been divided into two sections, each entrusted to separate Chinese companies. China Communication Construction is responsible for the east section, while the west section is being handled by Yanhui Kaiyuan Highway and Bridge Company. Despite two years having passed, the east section has achieved only 32 percent progress, and the west section has seen a mere 8 percent development. The east section spans a distance of 41.45 kilometers, extending from Anbu Khaireni to Jamune, while the west section covers 38.88 kilometers from Jamune to Pokhara. The press meet was handled by PTC General Secretary Sanjaya Kant Sigdel.

Pictures: Rup Narayan Dhakal

Published on: August 14, 2023 3:37 pm

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