Nepal gears up for Modi's visit

Kathmandu, May 2:
Nepal will deploy over 7,000 security personnel during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit on May 11 that will begin from Janakpur where he will spend 45 minutes in prayers.

Modi will fly directly to Janakpur from Patna and will be welcomed by his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli at the Ram Janaki Temple. The Indian leader will perform a special 'puja' at the temple and then take part in a civil felicitation programme at Bahra Bigaha area.

The Indian leader will later inaugurate the Ramayan Circuit, which is one among the 13 tourist circuits under the "Swadesh Darshan Scheme" of India.

According to officials, over 7,000 security personals will be deployed in five layers for the security of the Indian Prime Minister.

From Janakpur, Modi will fly to Mustang where he will pray at the Muktinath temple. He will then reach Kathmandu, according to the travel itinerary made public by the government.

Nepali Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said the Indian leader's visit will be religious and cultural. There will be no political agreements.

Thapa and Home Secretary Dev Kumar Rai and chiefs of all three security agencies reached Janakpur on Tuesday to take stock of the security measures for Modi's welcome. In 2014, Modi's plan to enter Nepal through Janakpur was foiled over "security threats".

"His (Modi's) visit this time is for religious purpose, not a political one. This visit will take the centuries-old social and religious relationship between Nepal and India to a new height," Thapa told the media.

He said there will be no programmes for political agreements this time during Modi's visit. "The visit will help strengthen the religious and cultural relations between the two countries."

Modi will also lay a foundation stone of hydroelectricity Arun III project in Nepal on May 11. The 900 mw run-of-the-river project is developed by the Indian government and is slated to come into operation by 2020.

Last week, there was a blast at the office of hydroelectricity project that damaged the wall of the building in Tumlingtar, 500 km from Kathmandu.