New highway generates business opportunities in BaglungNew hotels and lodges have started sprouting in the vicinity of the western Nepali district of Baglung, as the construction of Mid-Hill Highway has raised movement of people, generating economic opportunities.
New hotels and lodges have started sprouting in the vicinity of the western Nepali district of Baglung, as the construction of Mid-Hill Highway has raised movement of people, generating economic opportunities.
Around 137-km segment of the 1776-km highway, which stretches from the east to the west of the country, falls in Baglung. The construction of this segment has increased the flow of travelers, raising demand for various services.
“As locals are witnessing high inflow of tourists, they have started opening lodges and hotels along the highway [which is also referred to as Pushpalal Highway],” said Badri Prasad Sharma, chief division engineer at the highway project in Baglung.
Hastakala Gharti Magar has ploughed in Rs3 million to build a hotel at Rijal Chowk, Bihu, shortly after the highway construction works were over in Baglung. “After it was confirmed that the road will be broadened, I decided to open a three-room lodge,” said Magar, who migrated from Argal to start a business in Bihu. “Guest inflow is increasing and this has encouraged more people to open hotels and lodges here.”
Hotels, lodges, restaurants and other service-oriented businesses are also being opened in the vicinity of the highway such as Achete, Hatiya, Burtibang and Dhorpatan.
Along the 87-km road between Baglung and Burtibang alone, 25-30 hotels have opened up, according to Magar.
Dependra Shrestha, a local businessman who owns a shop along the highway said: “I have invested Rs3 million to open a grocery store, and the business is doing good.” Most of the customers of Shrestha are travelers and locals.
Raju Thapa too has invested Rs3 million in a hotel in Rangeni, near the Mid-Hill Highway. He has also seen rise in inflow of travelers since the highway was broadened. “I got the courage to open the hotel after the highway was broadened and inflow of travelers went up,” he said, adding, “I am planning to invest further.”
In Bihupokahari, a village along the highway, Bharat Sapkota has opened a clothing store. Others have opened shops that sell gold jewelry, stationary items, DVDs and grocery items. Altogether, 12 to 13 new businesses have come into operation in Bihupokahri.
“The construction of the highway has generated interest among people to start their own businesses,” said Bhishma Kandel, vice principal of Amar Higher Secondary School. “We hope the construction of the highway will lead to development of the village as well.”
The Mid-Hill Highway stretches from Chiyo Bhanjyang in Paanchthar in eastern Nepal to Jhulalghat in Baitadi in the far west of the country.
The construction of this highway began in fiscal year 2007-08 and is expected to be completed by 2017-18. The government allocated a budget of Rs1.95 billion for construction of this highway in 2015-16.