PM Modi to skip Chinese infra in Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the famous Mayadevi temple at Lumbini in Nepal, the birth place of Lord Buddha, on May 16 to observe Buddha Purnima.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the famous Mayadevi temple at Lumbini in Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, on May 16 to observe Buddha Purnima. But instead of flying direct into the new Gautam Buddha International Airport, about 19 km off Lumbini, he will take a helicopter from the Kushinagar International airport, 54 km east of Gorakhpur in India, for Lumbini.
Nepal has built helipads inside the world heritage site for his visit. The Gautam Buddha airport is scheduled to be inaugurated on the same day, but Modi will skip it. Why? “It is possible that since the airport has been built by China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group, India is keeping its distance,’’ a foreign policy expert from Nepal told TNIE.
Modi is likely to speak at the Buddha Memorial Ceremony organised by the Lumbini Development Trust and also lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist monastery that will be built with India’s support. In his talks with Modi at Lumbini, Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said he will seek support for developing the West Seti Hydropower Project.
“Since India is reluctant to purchase energy produced by Chinese companies in Nepal, we will talk with Modi for the engagement of Indian developers for this project,’’ Deuba said. He added that he would revive talks with India to develop the Pancheshwar Multipurpose project.