February 11: A cable car connecting Butwal and Palpa and a five star hotel in Basantapur of Palpa are being constructed in collaboration between two big private companies of Nepal. This construction is being done jointly by Sharma & Company and IME Group.
These companies have started the work by establishing a company called Lumbini Cable Car Pvt Ltd. A meeting of the Council of Ministers on Monday approved the company to use 6.27 hectares of national forest under Rupandehi and Palpa districts for 25 years. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will lay the foundation stone of the cable car, hotel and two temples that will be built with an investment of Rs 3.50 billion.
Altogether 3.16 hectares of land falls in the Chure Community Forest of Butwal Sub-metropolitan city – 3, Rupandehi and 3.11 hectares of land in Chuiri danda/Nyauli Community Forest of Tinau Rural municipality – 3, Palpa.
Meanwhile, the government has given permission to the company to remove 1,338 poles and trees in the area. Ramesh Sharma, Managing Director (MD) of Sharma & Company, informed that a tender is will be issued after signing an agreement with the cable car construction company.
He said that the construction of the cable car will be completed within the next two years and the hotel will be operational within the next three years. As there will be delay in hotel occupancy, the two companies are preparing to open a restaurant prior to the hotel. These companies were planning to invest Rs 5 billion for cable car and 200-bed capacity hotels and resort. However, they cut down the investment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As it will take more time for tourists to come due to coronavirus and many new hotels have been opened in the area, Sharma said that the hotels are being built with less capacity due to increased competition. “The investment has been reduced as the virus has affected tourism sector,” he said, “The bed capacity has been reduced to 150, so the cost has also been reduced.”