Prosperity thru air, road connectivity: Indian envoy Puri

Pokhara, May 21

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri said Nepal can gain abundant advantages from its southern neighbour with proper utilisation of air and road connectivity between the two countries.

Speaking at a welcome function organised by Pokhara Chambers of Commerce and Industries in Kaski today, Puri said Nepal could conduct direct flights to various Indian cities, besides managing wide road connectivity so as to benefit entrepreneurs and business persons of both countries. “Though the Pokhara Airport does not have an international terminal, flights from the Lake City can be connected to different Indian cities using small aircraft,” said Puri.

On the occasion, Tourism entrepreneurs from the Lake City sought Indian support to upgrade the Siddhartha Highway, which was constructed with aid from the Indian government. In response, Puri said Nepal should take necessary initiatives for the same.

Puri said Nepal could attain prosperity with major investment in tourism and trading sectors. He added that moving ahead in mutual cooperation would highly benefit both Nepal and India as the neighbouring countries have longstanding social, cultural and geographical ties.

He highlighted that the pension amount of more than 65,000 ex-Gurkha servicemen had also contributed much to the country’s economy.

Former president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries Ananda Raj Mulmi urged Puri to support the air route permit in the sky above Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, and other places to extend air connectivity between the two countries. He also sought technical support from the Indian side to begin direct flights to Lakhnow, varanasi and other cities of India from Pokhara, besides opening the Pokhara-Triveni fast track. Rishi Sapkota, chairperson of Nepal Bharat Maitri Sangh, drew the Indian envoy’s attention towards the need for Lumbini-Pokhara-Muktinath road connectivity.

Meanwhile, Pokhara Chambers of Commerce and Industries Chairperson Bishwo Shankar Palikhe said both the countries should launch joint projects in tourism and development sectors.