Pokhara, Sept 16: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pokhara Metropolitan City have agreed to forge cooperation on urban infrastructure development and improved livelihood project. Another area of cooperation between the ADB and Pokhara metropolis is exploring potentials for sustainable tourism development of the city.
The areas of cooperation were discussed during a meeting between Mayor of Pokhara Metropolitan City Dhanraj Acharya and Executive Director of ADB Wan Farisan bin Wan Sulaiman.Road security measures along with road and drainage system of the city would be upgraded under the Regional Urban Development Project.
According to the officials, the ADB is to provide economic assistance to different projects in Pokhara and the projects have already been selected.One of them is upgradation of road section from Sahid Chowk to Pokhara International Airport and 5.34 million US Dollar is estimated for the project.
Likewise, 13 kms road would be blacktopped from Damdate to Bhanjyang under the Panchase Ecosystem Development and Access Project.
Similarly, upgradation of road from Bhanjyang to Panchase area, establishment of service points, integrated promotion of homestay and preservation of Gurung Museum would be carried out.
Furthermore, 85 kms long cycle track would be constructed by linking the 18 wards of the metropolitan city.
Settlement management, water spring protection, setting up information board and direction board and construction of toilets, water fountain, cycle parking and cycle stand with service point would be carried out under the Phewa Lake Improvement Project. Pokhara Metropolitan City has said 3.05 million US Dollar would be spent in this project.
Similarly, there is a plan for connecting Damsite and Raniban with glassbridge and developing an eco-trail from Raniban connecting the Peace Stupa and the Phewa Lake rim in an integrated way under the Raniban Eco-trail and Phewa Lake Improvement Project. The eco-route would incorporate public amenities including construction of resting places, toilets, taps, installation of information board and temple renovation. It will cost 5.63 million US Dollar.
The Shanti Banbatika Botanical Garden would also be constructed. Under this project, the existing forest area would be developed into greenery centre and as a new tourism destination. A herbal garden, footpath, ticket counter, resting sheds, picnic shed, meditation centre, compound wall, fencing, approach road among other structures would be constructed.
Another project is related to the conservation of Pokhara’s old heritage. This project will be implemented for the conservation of artistic buildings and temples built in traditional architectural style located at ward number 2, 3 and 4 of the metropolis. The Ramkrishna Tol (locality) would be developed as the Pokhara Heritage Site and into a main tourism destination. Besides urban restoration of old Pokhara, this project will also upgrade the 1.5 kilometres road from Siddhartha Chowk up to Bindhyabasini, along with the construction of a footpath. ADB will invest 1.98 million US Dollar for this purpose.
The technical, environmental and economic feasibility report has been prepared for upgrading the road from Pokhara International Airport to Lakeside. The ToR is being prepared for the purchase of DSCS for the project. This project will cost two million US Dollar.
The ADB team held discussions with Mayor Acharya on these projects among other topics. On the occasion, Mayor Acharya said they were committed to complete the projects within the deadline.
The ADB team comprised of Executive Director Sulaiman, director and advisor Matthew Sullivan, directive advisor Bhimkanta Neupane and urban development expert Shiva Poudel. ADB will invest 75 percent and Pokhara Metropolitan City 25 percent of the total cost of the projects.