Panchkhal SEZ remains on paper after 10 years

- NAGENDRA ADHIKARI, Kavre
The government has acquired 1,004 ropanis of land in Shikharpur, Khatte Danda and Janata Community Forest

Nov 19, 2015-The construction of a special economic zone (SEZ) planned to be set up at Panchkhal in Kavrepalanchok district has not started even though it was supposed to be completed a decade ago. The project had been touted as a major facility to promote trade with China.

The late prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala had announced finishing its construction a decade ago, but the project remains confined to paper. 

Recently, Nepali Ambassa-dor to China Mahesh Maskey had hinted that the Chinese government was interested in supplying cooking gas at the proposed SEZ by establishing joint customs offices. 

Almost every successive government has promised to complete the project. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, when he was foreign minister in 2007, had also sent a proposal to China to construct a railway linking Lhasa and Panchkhal. 

Chandra Lal Danuwar, a local from Baluwa, said that the first survey of the SEZ had been conducted from his home. 

“I was optimistic that the project would be constructed during that time as a number of ministers had made frequent site visits,” he said. But now he has no hopes that the project will be taken ahead, he add. The government had announced implementing the project with the view of developing the area as a trading hub as it is served by Araniko Highway and BP Highway. 

The government has acquired 1,004 ropanis of land in Shikharpur, Khatte Danda and Janata Community Forest. Once the drainage, drinking water, electricity and road infrastructure is completed, manufacturing plants can be set up in the proposed area.

Entrepreneurs have been constantly urging the government to complete the project at the earliest. Sur Krishna Vaidya, president of the Kavre Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the government had been ignoring the project. 

“The government should not delay the construction of the SEZ in order to promote trade with the northern neighbour,” he said.

If the SEZ is brought into operation, more than 25 large factories can be operated in the area. It can also provide warehousing facilities for goods imported from China. 

Published: 19-11-2015 09:57

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