Nepal | May 25, 2020

Thumkidanda airport in limbo after minister’s death

Himalayan News Service
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Panchthar, February 27

The chopper ferrying Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari landed at Chuhandanda of Aathrai Rural Municipality, Tehrathum at 9:00am today.

When Minister Adhikari came out of the chopper, his face was glowing. The team including Adhikari had arrived here to hold discussion with stakeholders on construction of Aathrai airport at Thumkidanda.

Minister Adhikari had pledged to construct the airport at Thumkidanda by including necessary budget in next fiscal budget speech. He had vowed to finish constructing the airport within three years.

“The team comprising Minister Adhikari stayed here till 11:00am and we held discussion with him on construction of the airport and development of tourism in the Aathrai area”, Chuhandanda Campus Chief Hikmat Ray told over phone.

According to Ray, Minister Adhikari had observed neighbouring Taplejung and Panchthar districts from Chuhandanda. “Adhikari wanted to visit late CPN-UML leader Madan Bhandari’s birth place Panchthar despite the fact that the weather had gone bad,” said Ray.

The chopper left for Pathibhara Devi’s temple. Before two hours had passed after the chopper left Chuhandanda, the news of the chopper crash spread, Ray added. “The untimely demise of Adhikari and his team has left locals of Chuhandanda stunned”, Ray stated.

With Adhikari’s demise, the plan to construct airport at Thumkidanda might be left in the lurch, locals fear. Air port construction at Thumkidanda had been talked about for the past 43 years. Minister Adhikari and his team had come here at the invitation of locals from Aaathrai to push him for construction of the airport, said Campus Chief Ray.


A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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