Panchkhal set to be developed as SEZ

Kavre, July 15

Panchkhal of Kavre is set to be developed into a Special Economic Zone with the construction of necessary infrastructure beginning from the third week of July and the master plan for the project almost finalised, according to Panchkhal SEZ Committee.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry Surya Prasad Silwal said at a function on Friday that the government had decided to grant a budget of Rs 50 million for the project.

“A master plan will be finalised within a week, and construction of necessary infrastructure will start immediately,” he said.

The Chinese government has also shown a special interest in the development of the region as a Special Economic Zone, which will supposedly encompass a total of 1,000 ropanis of land.

“China is willing to establish various industries if the government agrees to its proposal,” Silwal said. A total of 460 ropanis of land belonging to the Shikarapur Community Forest, Hokse VDC and as much as 560 ropanis of land belonging to the Pandula Devisthan Community Forest have been acquired for the project.

A survey and environmental impact assessment has also been completed.

The Ministry of Industry had decided to allocate Rs 200 million for the development of Panchkhal as a SEZ two-and-a-half years ago. However, the budget was frozen due to delay in finalising procedures for infrastructure development.

Earlier, Bhairahawa was developed as a SEZ, and the government selected Panchkhal as the second region to be developed into a special economic zone in the country.

Executive Director of SEZ Chandika Prasad Bhatta agreed that the project was delayed because the team was working hard to make the SEZ in Panchkhal no different from special economic zones in other countries.

Locals have been demanding roads and other infrastructures and increased employment opportunities after the SEZ project was launched in Panchkhal.

CPN-UML leader Kanchan Adhikari demanded that the government guarantee employment to the locals.