KATHMANDU: As Nepal launches rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in April and May, the government has arranged sightseeing programmes for foreign delegates on June 24, on the eve of the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction 2015.
The government has chosen Sankhu and Basantapur Durbar Square in the Kathmandu Valley for sightseeing to make them aware of the extent of damage caused by the earthquakes as well as to send out a message that the country still has much more to offer to international travellers, as many many tourist destinations survived the quakes and are intact, officials said.
The International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction 2015 is slated for June 25 for which, according to the Ministry of Finance, 100 delegates of at least 45 countries and multilateral agencies have confirmed their participation.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance, which is coordinating the international conference, had planned to field visits of foreign delegates to Sankhu — one of the areas in the Kathmandu Valley most affected by the quakes. Basantapur Durbar Square was added in list later, said the officials.
The National Disaster Management and Monitoring Special Committee of the Legislature Parliament yesterday had directed the government to make arrangements for foreign delegates to observe major tourist destinations — both damaged and not damaged — to send out a message that Nepal is safe for foreign tourists. Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said there was no security issue for visiting these sites as the debris has already been removed.
“We hope foreign delegates will show interest in visiting these areas. They will get to know about the areas first-hand visit,” said Ram Sharan Pudasaini, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance.
The government is organising the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction 2015 to seek foreign support for Nepal’s post-disaster reconstruction and recovery efforts.
The government is also ready to arrange visits outside the Kathmandu Valley if any foreign delegate wishes so, MoHA Spokesperson Dhakal said. The government has planned a visit to Barpak of Gorkha, the epicentre of the April 25 quake, if any delegate wishes so.