‘Decentralise to help tourism grow’

Pokhara, June 28:

Residents in Pokhara and Dolakha feel that Pokhara and Dolakha, with their huge potential for tourism, have failed to achieve their full potential due primarily to the centralised nature of governance in the country.

Tourism entrepreneurs, representatives of chamber of commerce and industry, members of parliament, leaders of political parties, representatives of civil society were unanimous at an interaction pr-ogramme that the country should adopt a system of federal governance and th-at authority should be delegated at the regional level.

Representatives from Dolakha, following a Pokhara tour, said that Pokhara is rich in terms of natural and cultural heritage. The interaction programme was organised jointly by Dolakha-Pokhara Milan Samaj, Visit Pokhara Year-2007 and NA-TA Western Chapter with a view to explore the possibility of joint endeavour to boost tourism, said journalist, Ishwori Neupane.

The participants at the programme said that despite several persons from these areas having become MPs and ministers, tourism development cou-ld not achieve the desired outcome in these two areas due to a Kathmandu-centric approach. Moreover, bandhs, chakkajams and blockades have hindered the growth of tourism sector, they said, adding that such activities should not be organised in future. On the occasion, MP Bhim Bahadur Tamang said the districts lagged far behind due to exploitation by the centre.

Another MP, Shanti Pa-khrin said Nepal must use its rich natural resources and cultural heritage for greater development.

President of the National Lake Conservation Development Committee, Khaga Raj Adhikari said Nepalis should first overcome their foreign dependency and colonial influence.