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Nepal plane crash: Pokhara International Airport built with Chinese assistance, inaugurated on Jan 1, 2023

Built in the backdrop of the pristine Annapurna Mountain Range, the airport was officially inaugurated on January 1, 2023. The flagship project was part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative cooperation. The Pokhara Regional International Airport, where a passenger plane crashed today, was inaugurated on January 1, 2023, by Nepal Prime Minister Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'. 

Nepal plane crash Pokhara International Airport built with Chinese assistance inaugurated on January 1 2023 gcw
First Published Jan 15, 2023, 5:45 PM IST

A passenger plane with 72 people on board crashed on Sunday at the Pokhara Regional International Airport (PRIA), which was reportedly constructed with Chinese aid. It was inaugurated on January 1, 2023, as a part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration. On the day of the inauguration, this aircraft was also demonstrated.

Five Indians and numerous other foreign nationalities were on board a Nepalese passenger plane that crashed today while it was attempting to land at the airport in Pokhara. The plane crashed on the bank of the Seti River, halfway between the old and new airports in Pokhara, while attempting to land. The plane reportedly crashed 10 seconds before the landing with 68 passengers and four crew members on board.

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During a courtesy trip in Baluwatar last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi presented the PRIA to former Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. The Exim Bank of China provided a loan towards the construction of the airport.

The airport where the disaster occurred was opened just two weeks ago by Nepali Prime Minister Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' in Pokhara, the main tourist destination in western Nepal. Bishnu Paudel, the deputy prime minister and finance minister, was also present.

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The PRIA, a centrepiece of the Nepal-China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partnership, was built with Chinese credit support, according to the news agency PTI. For the development of the new airport in the lake city, the government had inked a soft credit deal with China in March 2016 for USD 215.96 million. The Chinese government was also asked by the prime minister to help with the opening of China's borders, the development of railway services, and other initiatives.

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