ADB, Pokhara coordinating long-term tourism sector development


By Santosh Subedi, Pokhara, Sept. 18: Asian Development Bank (ADB) is investing in Pokhara's long-term development in the tourism sector. Under the investment, projects of urban infrastructure and upgrading the living standards of the locals are being implemented, and several others are in the pipeline.

Teams led by Pokhara Metropolitan City's Mayor Dhanraj Acharya and ADB Director Wan Farisan bin Wan Sulaiman also met recently and discussed different issues including the recent coordination.

Pokhara is implementing several projects for sewage, road and footpath improvement in coordination with ADB. The 8.8-km section from Shahid Chowk to the Pokhara International Airport (PIA) is being upgraded under a total investment of 5.34 million dollars by ADB.

Similarly, blacktopping the 13-km road from Damdame to Bhanjyang, upgrading the road from Bhanjyang to Panchase, establishing service points, unified promotion project for homestays and conservation of Gurung Museum are being implemented with the support of 3.05 million dollars under the Panchase Ecological Development and Reach Project.

Panchase is a protected forest area with religious and tourism importance as it has over 100 varieties of orchids and ponds.

Under the support of ADB, construction of the lake-to-lake cycle track and the Fewa Lake Improvement Project are also underway. The cycle track will be 85 kilometres long and connect nine lakes and 18 wards of Pokhara. Resting places, toilets, water fountain, water spring protection, information board, direction board, cycle parking and service points will be constructed/installed as necessary under the Fewa Lake Improvement Project. It is estimated that the two projects will cost 3.05 million dollars.

By constructing a bridge of glass from Dam Side to Raniban and connecting Shanti Stupa and Fewa Lake, Raniban Eco Trail is being developed. The eco-route will also have resting places, toilets, water taps and information boards. This project is said to cost 5.63 million dollars.

A botanical garden will also be constructed in Shanti Ban Batika. 

Likewise, ADB will be investing in conserving the historical and religious structures in Pokhara. Ramkrishna Tol is also being developed as the Pokhara Heritage Site. ADB is investing 1.98 million dollars in it.

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the upgradation of the road from the PIA to Lake Side has been completed. It will be upgraded for under 2 million dollars.

During the discussion between Mayor Acharya and ADB Director Sulaiman, the two sides assured to provide complete support and coordination in completing the projects in the best way at the earliest.

Pokhara will be covering 25 per cent of the total cost for the projects with ADB covering the remaining. 

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