Kathmandu: Occupied unilaterally by Nepal’s parliament for the past 15 years, powerful voices are being raised from public forum to free the Birendra International Convention Centre and let it be used for the purpose it was built for.
The Centre— BICC— that was built in the late 80s by China with the initiative of King Birendra as a public institution to hold international-level conferences — it hosted the South Asian Association of Regional Conference(SAARC) twice—the center has been occupied exclusively by the parliament secretariat since 2006 political change.
The entire legislative business and political meetings of two Constituent Assemblies and the ‘fast track’ and process-less job ‘constitution delivery’ in September 29 took place from the Centre. Besides, the parliament retaining an old building within Singhadurbar premises, construction works for the new parliamentary building has been going on there for years.
The occupation of the BICC by parliament has cost the institution not only a huge amount of money as a regular source of income, lack of an appropriate venue in the capital has adversely affected Initiatives to conduct big events.
Hikmat Singh Ayer, senior Director of the Nepal Tourism board raised the issue – that BICC should be vacated for the purpose it was built for— during a meeting organized by the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Tuesday— drawing sympathetic support to it from the participants.
But there has been no word yet by the parliament secretariat about when it is going to end its occupation.