Locals bet on highway to bring riches

  • Mid-Hill Highway
- CHANDRA KARKI, Tehrathum

Nov 15, 2018-

With the construction of the Mid-Hill Highway in full swing, Tehrathum locals residing at the periphery of the under-construction road are building hotels and lodges around it. According to locals, they are expecting an influx of customers in the long run as the highway is a national pride project.

Suresh Tumbamphe, engineer at the eastern section of the Mid-Hill Highway Project, told the Post that along with the construction of the road, other infrastructure are being developed at a similar pace. These include big and small hotels, resorts, lodges and shops.

Rural areas connected by the highway are seeing economic development. The highway stretches nearly 135km long in the district.

The road project has also been a boon to locals who previously had to spend a whole day walking to Phidim of Panchthar just to purchase daily essentials before the ongoing highway construction provided road access.

In the newly developed rural market, district locals are not only purchasing essential commodities but also selling their agricultural produce, according to Ram Chandra Thapaliya, former headmaster of Sharada Secondary School.  

“Economic activities have increased, making the rural economy vibrant,” said Thapaliya.

Pemba Chiring Bhotiya of Laligurans Municipality established a hotel, investing Rs50 million, after he realised that the highway would go through his land. “Along with the construction of the highway, the number of tourists and customers have increased. That’s why I made the investment,” Bhotiya said.

Many others are following Bhotiya. Rom Bhagat Pradhananga, a hotel operator in district headquarter Myanglung, has demolished his old hotel and is building a new one with good facilities, expecting good business in the future. Similarly, Bam Bahadur Limbu and Durga Limbu have built a lodge cum resort with an investment of Rs10 million at the bank of Khorunga River.  

In the last five years, more than 50 new hotels, and  shops were established at different locations in the district. The new market is concentrated at locations like Chuhandanda, Sakranti, Halimela, Myanglung, Jirikhimti, Lasune and Basantapur among others. As vehicular movement have also increased after the construction of the road, a spike in customers are encouraging many to make new investment or increase it, according to Shiva Dhungana, coordinator of the District Coordination Committee. Increased economic activities after the construction of the highway have been successful in attracting those who migrated from the district during the decade long armed conflict in the past.

The under construction road has also made the real estate market of the district vibrant, with land prices increasing significantly. “This highway has become a game changing project for our region and has acted as a catalyst for development,” said Laxman Tiwari, a provincial assembly member of Province 1.

Published: 15-11-2018 10:04

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