Tourism Pokhara. A 2 membered special delegation from Denmark, invited by Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City (PLMC) presented their master plan to develop Pokhara as a smart city.
Christian Kruse, Chairman of Trianglen, a Denmark based non profit association established in 2009 working to raise the life standard of children, youth and adults in villages of Nepal and Torben Nohr, Director of Technology and Environment of Koge Municipality of Denmark were the part of delegation.
The delegation met with Man Bahadur GC, Mayor of PLMC, Mahendra Godar, Chief Engineer of PLMC, Govinda Pahari, Tourism Entrepreneur during their stay. The delegation also had meetings with Chamber of Commerce of Pokhara and Lekhnath and tourist organisations of city.
Speaking exclusively with Pokhara News, Christian Kruse, member of delegation, expressed his gratitude to ever welcoming and heartwarming behaviour of citizens of Nepal. The team presented special priorities to be taken into consideration for both Lekhnath and Pokhara. Urging the central government to recognize the potential of PLMC in tourism development of country, the team also prioritized the construction of International Airport and Railway connectivity between Pokhara and Kathmandu as faster as possible.
Expressing deep concern over illegal settlement in Lakeside area, the team suggested the authority to act strongly to demolish illegal buildings and take back illegally occupied government land. Introducing concept of social housing as a solution, the team also advised on using technologies like air photo registration/ mapping. Addressing the environmental issues, the team proposed to remove the landfill site and instead burn the garbage in incinerator to produce electricity. The reuse of plastic products and treatment of sewage water before entering lake is also suggested.
Prioritizing the Lakeside area, the team focused on completing foot-track as soon as possible. Further, the plan focused on strictly implementing protection zone of 65 meters and converting illegal restaurants into high standard hotels with permission. In parts of Lekhnath, the master plan suggested on strictly implementing 100 meter protection zone around lakes, developing trekking routes around seven lakes and renewal of Prince Charles route. Organic farming and adventure tourism are the other aspects to be considered for tourism development here.
In terms of infrastructural development, the team suggested to develop another road link for under construction international regional airport. Regular maintainence of existing roads and expansion of existing highways to 4 lanes is also suggested. Apart from that the team advised the local government to promote bicycling in Pokhara and also continuation of No Vehicle Zone in Lakeside area.
Finally in processing of master plan, the team has expected Mayor to play responsible role in preparing and implementing the master plan. The team has expected a solid master plan to be presented in parliament in next meeting in April 2019. Establishing a think tank with technical know-how and a visionary leadership is suggested by the team. Also the team has made aware the importance of syncing local level plans to master plan. Finally the team has reminded the local authority find a fair balance between Pokhara as well as Lekhnath.
Speaking about Danish contribution to plan, delegation has also promised a long term and stable cooperation between Nepal and Denmark through Trianglen and other forms of support. The team has also invited Mayor of PLMC to visit Denmark. Also team has proposed to analyse the possibilities of bring planning expertise of Denmark to PLMC. The team will be following up the progress in spring of 2019.
Emphasizing on the emergency of action, the team has urged PLMC to develop think tank and expertise now, create a master plan now and implement it now as well.