Preparations in final stage for Narendra Modi's Nepal visit

5 May 2018

Final touches are being given to the preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming two-day visit to Nepal from May 11, an official said today.
Security has been stepped up in Mustang district, home to famous Hindu pilgrimage site Muktinath, which Modi is scheduled to pay a visit. The Indian Prime Minister will arrive in Muktinath from Janakpur, famous for Janaki Temple, from Bihar's capital Patna on May 11. From Muktinath he will fly to Kathmandu on the same day. "Security has been tightened throughout the district with the Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force, the Nepal Army and the National Investigation Department conducting security surveillance," chief district officer Sishir Poudel said.
Arrangements have also been made for emergency medical service while the 76-km Beni-Jomsom road which is otherwise closed for eight hours daily for repair and maintenance has been opened for three days in view of Modi's visit, National News Agency of Nepal reported. A team from India, including the officials of the Indian Army, arrived in Mustang on Wednesday to take stock of the security situation and the preparations for Modi's visit. Last month, a pressure cooker bomb went off outside an Indian consulate office in Nepal's Biratnagar, damaging the wall of the mission. Another blast happened at the office of a hydroelectricity project developed with the Indian assistance in the eastern part of the country. "There are two helipads near Muktinath and a third one is being constructed as an alternative," Poudel said.
"Modi's visit to Muktinath is expected to further strengthen the Nepal-India relations at the people-to-people level and promote religious tourism," civil society leader Chandra Bahadur Thakali said. A committee has been formed under the coordination of Chhemchok Chheten Gurung, chairman of Bhragaon Muktikshetra Rural Municipality, to extend warm welcome to the Indian Prime Minister.
Last month, Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had visited India during which both sides had vowed to step up the overall engagement and take the relationship to newer heights on the basis of "equality, mutual trust and respect". After his talks with Oli, Modi had said India would always stand by Nepal in its quest for all-round growth, asserting that deeper cooperation between the two neighbours would strengthen democracy in that country.