PM Prachanda’s India visit
Baitadi: The agreement between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, who is on India visit, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build a motorable bridge at Jhulaghat, Baitadi has brought joy to Baitadi residents. In a joint press conference held in New Delhi on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Modi announced the construction of a concrete bridge at the Jhulaghat crossing.
Similarly, he also announced that another motorable bridge would be constructed at the head of Dadheldhura. Prime Minister Prachanda had promised for the motorable bridge in Jhulaghat during his visit to Baitadi during last federal and provincial assembly election.
Khimananda Bhatta, vice president of Baitadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said locals were happy when their long-raised issue was addressed jointly by the Prime Ministers of the two countries.
Seven hilly districts of Sudurpaschim would be directly benefited if a motorable bridge is constructed in Jhulaghat.
The bridge is expected to be beneficial for religious and tourism development of Sudurpaschim. Chandra Singh Thapa, the head of Tripurasundari Temple, said that the bridge would comfort Indian pilgrims with easy travel to popular religious sites of Nepal.
He said that thousands of Indian pilgrims come to pay homage at Tripurasundari by way of suspension bridge at Jhulaghat. In future, the number of Indian pilgrims might increase since it would only take one hour to travel to the temple from Pithauragadh in India, he added.
Bhatta said that the economic activities of the Sudurpaschim Province would improve and the trade relations between the two countries would expand if the bridge was constructed at Jhulaghat.
The East India Company had constructed a suspension bridge at Jhulaghat 200 years ago. The bridge is not in good condition at present. But, still many pilgrims from India have been crossing the suspension bridge to visit religious sites while many Nepalese have been visiting India for employment using the dilapidated bridge.
Indian journalist Surendra Arya said that Prime Minister Prachanda himself had informed about the construction of motorable bridge during his visit to Jhulaghat in the past. He said that Indian citizens were also happy about the news.
Earlier, Baitadi residents had submitted 10,000 signatures of citizens to the relevant authorities on a 32-day long relay fast, demanding the construction of a motorable bridge at Jhulaghat crossing.