Nepal’s newly-elected government is planning on executing a task which clearly highlights how it prioritises its connections with China. The left alliance-led government has prepared a proposal to construct a road tunnel that will bring the Rasuwagadhi border point much closer to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists and tourists from all over the world. If the tunnel, which will stretch from Tokha of Kathmandu to Chhahare of Nuwakot district, is successfully constructed, it will reduce the distance between Rasuwagadhi border to Kathmandu to an astounding two and a half hours. While it may ease the journey for travellers, the purpose of the construction might be more than what meets the eye.
“Construction of the road tunnel and the access road connecting it to Galchhi-Syaphrubeshi road will cost around Rs 26.5 billion,” said the report by OnlineKhabar.
The Department of Roads has furnished a preliminary study of the project and will consider whether it is possible for the project to be executed. The Nepalese government has already sent a request to the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank for assistance in the project. The bank, which is headquartered in Beijing, has asked the government to submit a more detailed proposal, reports OnlineKhabar.
“The plan may see some changes as we are yet to do a detailed study. But, basically, this is the easiest and most reliable alternative to connect Kathmandu and Rasuwagadhi,” an official was quoted as saying.
There are twelve Tibetan refugee camps in Nepal, all of which are being supervised by a representative appointed by the Central Tibetan Administration.
Nepal sees an influx of Tibetan refugees intermittently as most escape Tibet through its borders. However, India’s rocky relationship with Nepal and the Himalayan Kingdom’s dependency on China is slowly pushing it to introduce policies which look toward the east.