World News | NEPAL PM Deuba inaugurates Chinese-built international airport near Lumbini

Kathmandu, May 15 (PTI) Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday inaugurated the country’s second Chinese-built international airport which will connect Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a major tourist and pilgrimage destination, to the Buddhist tours in South Asia as well as the rest of the world.

The $76 million Gautam Buddha International Airport was inaugurated on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and also held in-depth talks with his Nepalese counterpart Deuba to expand bilateral cooperation in several areas including hydropower, development and connectivity. between the two neighboring countries.

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Prime Minister Modi and his entourage arrived in Lumbini aboard a special Indian Air Force helicopter from Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. The IAF helicopter landed at the helipad built near the International Buddhist Prayer Center and Lumbini Auditorium.

The new Bhairahawa airport, 19 kilometers from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lumbini, is funded by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development, but built by the group of construction of China Northwest Civil Aviation Airport. The construction of the airport is part of China’s ambitious forays into mega infrastructure projects in the Himalayan nation.

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The opening was marked by the successful landing of an international commercial flight, according to a press release issued by the AfDB office in Nepal.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Prime Minister Deuba said the opening of the airport is a historic day in the aviation and tourism sectors in Nepal and will contribute to the overall development and prosperity of the country in long term.

Speaking on the occasion, AfDB Country Director for Nepal Arnaud Cauchois congratulated the Government of Nepal for the completion and opening of the airport despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Cauchois said the airport will be a cornerstone of the country’s overall development by facilitating tourism, developing trade and economic activities, generating local employment opportunities and improving access to international air transport for workers. migrants and people living in neighboring provinces.

The new airport facility, which can accommodate jumbo jets, includes a 15,169 square meter terminal and a new 3,000 meter runway. In addition, an advanced instrument landing system will be used in the GBIA, a first in Nepal, to enable aircraft to land even in poor visibility.

“The opening of the airport is a proud moment for the country. As Nepal’s second international airport, it will serve as an alternative to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, and airlines will no longer have to divert to other countries in the event of bad weather or other problems. techniques,” said the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Affairs. Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale.

The AfDB has assisted the Nepalese government in upgrading and constructing the GBIA through the South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project. The total cost of building the airport is $76.1 million. Of this amount, the AfDB contribution is about $37 million in the form of loans and grants, while the OPEC Fund for International Development has contributed about $11 million in the form of loan. The rest is funded by the Government of Nepal.

During his visit to Lumbini, Prime Minister Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Deuba laid the foundation stone for India’s technologically advanced international center for Buddhist culture and heritage in Lumbini. When completed, the Center will be a world-class facility welcoming pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to enjoy the essence of the spiritual aspects of Buddhism, projecting the growing soft power of India.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from syndicated newsfeed, LatestLY staff may not have edited or edited the body of the content)

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