The Kaski district committee of ruling Unified CPN (Maoist) has admitted taking “donations” from the contractor involved in construction of international airport in Pokhara.
Organising a press conference at the Maoist party office in Pokhara on Monday, UCPN (Maoist) Kaski incharge Jhalakpani Tiwari said that on behalf of his party he took donations from the contractor. Although there are reports he took Rs 50 lakh in donations, Tiwari didn’t reveal how much money he received from the contractors.
However, Tiwari said that the donations were meant to support various activities of the party.
“It (the donation money) was not taken for personal use of any party leader,” he clarified.
The admission that the Maoist party took donations from the contractors involved in construction of international airport in Pokhara has come at a time when the Pokhara International Airport Concern Committee, a pressure group comprising representatives from various sectors, has been obstructing air service to and from Pokhara airport and organising various protest programmes as part of the campaign to pile pressure on the government to begin work on the international airport in Pokhara.
The project has been delayed after the project cost went up to US$ 305 million (Rs. 27 billion) as per the estimation of lowest bidder, a Chinese company, while the government had estimated the project cost at around US$ 180 million (Rs. 16 billion). Earlier, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal had said that the estimated budget was very high and that it was unable to put in such a huge amount for the project.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Post Bahadur Bogati had earlier on Monday said that the government was ready for talks with the locals of Pokhara, who have been carrying out protests demanding immediate start of construction works at the international airport there.
He also said that the ministry would launch a thorough study on the agreement on costs of the international airport to find out if there were loopholes in it. nepalnews.com