Cattle graze at airport

Tekendra Deuba

Kamalbazaar (Achham), April 20:

Thanks to government apathy, the airport in Kamalbazaar of Achham district has turned into a pasture. Even though the airport was constructed four years ago at a cost of tens of millions of rupees, no plane has touched down here.

The authorities had assured us that the airport will become operational after November 2001, but their assurance has not materialised, locals said, adding that the airport has become a grazing ground for cattle.

“The then minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Bal Bahadur KC, and other aviation authorities, had come here for inspection once,” a local said, adding that neither they came back, nor the planes landed here.

Two airplanes can simultaneously land at the airport. Locals complain that the government is not showing any interest in bringing it into use.

Dil Bahadur Budha, who has been working as a security guard at the airport since it was constructed, has not gotten his salary yet. Two buildings constructed for the airport office remain unoccupied. Budha, the only guard looking after the airport security, however, hopes that the airport will be opened for business one day.

“Locals’ dreams of boarding planes have gone astray,” Hari Singh Khadka, a local, said. Let’s hope that their dreams will turn into reality pretty soon.