Apropos of the new story, “GBIA generates mixed emotions from locals, investors” (THT, June 11, Page 9), the completion of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) will not guarantee cloud bursts of tourists. The airport’s contribution to Nepal tourism, in general, and Lumbini tourism, in particular, will depend on several factors starting with the operation, airfares, flight frequency and others. We will do well to remember that hotels in Lumbini once did brisk business without proper road transportation and erratic flights from the capital. Over the years, both roads and air connections have improved beyond belief. Even without the GBIA, tourists can travel easily by air or road from Kathmandu or by road from Gorakhpur, which is one of the main entry points for pilgrims to Lumbini, perhaps more than Kathmandu. The GBIA will offer pilgrims direct access to Lumbini and other tourist destinations in the region.
Whether that will contribute to the occupancy of the hotels will depend on the individual hotel’s efforts at sales and marketing.
Some of us would not invest millions of rupees, forget billions, in hotels relying solely on the GBIA. The concerned agency, particularly the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), must work out a robust plan to attract more and more tourists and make them stay there at least for a couple of days. This can be done if the hoteliers and LDT together take the visiting tourists to other areas associated with Lord Buddha.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
Apropos of the editorial “Abide by constitution” (THT, June 3, Page 6), the vacancy for the local levels with utter disregard for the policy of inclusion, as per the spirit of the constitution, is unacceptable. The constitution clearly states that the provincial governments can make arrangements for the local level staffers. Legal remedy is a must to correct the mistake made by the government. The meaning of federalism is that the provinces should have their own government and administration.
But the federal government has made efforts to curtail that and snubbed inclusion.
CM of Province-2 Lalbabu Raut last month had written to the federal government and the PSC not to send staffers from the centre as preparations were on to form the Provincial Public Service Commission. He had written that staffers for the province and local bodies would be deployed from the provincial level as a bill to form the Provincial Public Service Commission and provincial public service law have already been tabled in the Provincial Assembly and were in the final stage of their passage. He had also urged the PSC chairman not to invite applications for Province-2 and 136 local levels in the province. CM Raut had also sent a copy to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and local government.
It should be noted that the provincial council of ministers, village council and municipal council may form and operate various government services according to law as may be required for running their administration.
Hrithik Yadav, Bara
A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.