TAPLEJUNG: Political parties in Taplejung, civil society representatives, and locals have requested the government not to rename Suketar Airport, commonly known as Taplejung Airport, to Late Rabindra Adhikari Airport.
On May 29, the government declared in its budget address for fiscal year 2078/79 BS (2021/22) that the airport will be renamed ‘The Late Rabindra Adhikari Airport.’
Similarly, the government announced that the Chuhandanda Airport would be renamed ‘Ang Tshering Sherpa Airport.’
Locals have expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to rename certain airports. They have advised the administration to reconsider its decision via social media.
Yogesh Bhattarai, a member of the dissolved House of Representatives (HoR) and CPN (UML) leader, emphasized the importance of obtaining approval from the local population before renaming the airports.
“Before deciding to rename any place/site well known due to its historic importance or other distinct features, it is necessary to obtain permission from the local stakeholders concerned and people’s representatives after sitting for broader discussions with them so as to prove the relevancy, necessity, and results of implementing the decision,” Bhattarai suggested, warning, “Otherwise, any action t
Outgoing chairperson of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Rajendra Shrestha took to his social networking site to express his displeasure with the idea to rename the airport, writing, “Hello government! Suketar Airport is a source of pride for us. Instead, let us explore renaming Pokhara Airport after Rabindra Adhikari.”
Indrajit Aangbol, the State No. 1 parliamentary party leader of the CPN (Maoist Centre), expressed a similar dissenting opinion, stating that by renaming two airports after late Rabindra Adhikari and Ang Tshering Sherpa, the State had interfered with the culture, history, and identity of the existing airports.
Bijaya Kirat, Taplejung chairwoman of the CPN (Maoist Centre), stated that talks with stakeholders and political parties have been scheduled to explore the topic of renaming the Suketar Airport.
On February 27, 2019, a helicopter crash in Taplejung district killed seven persons, including the then-Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari and Yeti Airlines chairperson Ang Tshering Sherpa.