Chief Minister of Karnali Province Jeevan Bahadur Shahi clarified that the provincial government was not indifferent towards expansion of the Surkhet Airport at Birendranagar in Surkhet district.
Responding to the queries of the major opposition parties' members at the meeting of Karnali Province Assembly here today, CM Shahi explained that the expansion process was halted currently in lack of cooperation from the locals around the Airport.
Assuring that they were sensitive towards the airport expansion, Shahi described, "We held discussions with locals and stakeholders several times. The budget allocated for the Airport by the provincial government last year froze. There was no budget allocation for the same in the current fiscal year."
He further narrated that there was no point in holding discussions after the lack of cooperation on part of the locals. "The government cannot go for forcible acquisition of locals' land for expansion of the airport either."
According to the CM, the locals were not ready to cooperate the provincial government after a study conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal concluded that large aircrafts could be operated on the runway at Surkhet Airport.
The CM also shed lights on the difficulties faced by the Karnali Province folks in lack of adequate flights in various airports in the province. He shared that he was consulting with the federal government, aviation service provider companies regarding expansion of air services in the province.
On a different note, CM Shahi informed that the provincial government had currently stopped programmes below Rs 1.5 million as per the agreement with the opposition parties.
In today's 18th meeting of the 9th convention of Karnali Province Assembly, Minister for Social Development Yagya Bahadur BC tabled proposal seeking deliberation on the bill related to Province Public Service Commission Act (Amendment) as well as bill related to work, duties, rights and service of the Attorney General.
Source: National News Agency Nepal