Nepal to propose China to resume Ktm-Lhasa direct bus serviceNepal is set to propose China for resumption of the direct bus service between Kathmandu and Lhasa when senior tourism officials of the two countries meet here next week after a gap of over 10 years.
Nepal is set to propose China for resumption of the direct bus service between Kathmandu and Lhasa when senior tourism officials of the two countries meet here next week after a gap of over 10 years.
During the two-day meeting, the officials will discuss on expanding tourism, trade and other facilities in the border area.
The much-talked about bus link between the two cities, which was launched in May, 2005, failed to move ahead after 2006 for various reasons, includiing visa constraints.
On May 1, 1994, the two neighbours had signed an agreement on trade and transit, paving the way for the bus service. But it has been suspended for 11 years, said a senior government official privy to the meeting.
Once the Araniko Highway is brought back into operation, the bus service can be resumed, according to the official. “Once the highway will be completed with Chinese support, it will widen our tourism and trade prospects,” the official said.
Considering the growing number of Chinese tourists in Nepal, China could consider resuming the 14-hour bus service by easing visa restrictions, said the official. hina suspended the bus service in 2006 citing security concerns.
During the meeting, Nepal will also request the Chinese officials to issue three-day entry permit to non-residents of the bordering districts with China for the promotion of trade and tourism on the Chinese side.
Currently, the Chinese authorities issues only the one-day travel permit to those coming from outside of the bordering districts.
“Due to time constraints, trade and tourism per se, this is not enough for Nepali traders to visit Chinese commercial cities and bordering markets. So we will request the Chinese side to extend the duration of visa also for outsiders to cross the border into the Chinese territory, particularly the Tibet Autonomous Region,” said the official, adding that Nepal would called on China also to allow Nepali mountain flights over Manasarovar in Tibet.
Hundreds of Nepali tourism entrepreneurs are engaged in sending people on pilgrimage tour to Manasarovar, but they are struggling to conduct mountain flights due to lack of permission from the Chinese side.
“Due to difficult geographical terrain, many pilgrims could not reach Manasarovar overland. As such, mountain flights is the best option to expand the number of pilgrims, particularly in winter,” said the official.
UML-led govt openedRasuwagadhi-Kerung crossing: PM Oli
RASUWA: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has claimed that the UML-led government opened the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point. Speaking at a party programme here on Wednesday, Oli said that the government would widen the road between Rasuwagadhi and Galchhi in Dhading district to two lanes within two years.
House panel directs govt to repair Araniko Highway
The Development Committee of Parliament on Wednesday directed the government to speed up the tasks related to upgrading and repairing the Araniko Highway.
A field report submitted by the committee to Speaker Onsari Gharti states that due to the April 25 earthquake and landslides in subsequent days, the condition of road is “not very good in several sections”.
According to the committee, if the road is not repaired soon, it would be difficult to import goods from China even after the Tatopani border point is reopened.
“Though vehicles can ply the highway, two-way traffic is not possible in many places,” said the committee.
Despite clearing the debris on the Nepali side, the 26-km Bahrabise-Tatopani section of the Araniko Highway still remains treacherous.
The committee has also directed the government to arrange sufficient manpower and sufficient budget for the maintenance of the road.
Before the earthquake, China was building a dry port at Tatopani VDC-4 to facilitate the ever-increasing trade through this border point. But now uncertainty is hanging over the construction of the dry port, as China has not shown interest to open the border. The committee has directed the government to take immediate measures to make the dry port operational.