September 26, 2017
The most-awaited Nepal’s biggest festival season has set in creating a joyful environment across the country.
The special season, which began with the arrival of the 15-day long Bada Dashain on September 21, 2017, and will be followed by Tihar and Chhath, started witnessing a large number of Nepalese traveling to and from Nepal for their festival celebrations.
“The number of people returning home usually goes up during the festive season. Nepalese living abroad, a majority of migrant workers, return home for Dashain and Tihar festivals. This is a normal trend almost every year,” says Prakash Neupane, a Senior Immigration Officer at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
According to TIA’s Online Immigration Database, around 34,690 Nepalese returned home from various foreign destinations between September 17 and September 23, 2017, while 24,175 Nepalese left the country during the same period.
Around 4,921 Nepalese returned home on the very first day of Dashain on September 21, 2017. Surprisingly, the number increased to 15,626 by September 23, 2017 i.e. within two days after the festival beginning.
According to official data, 5,432 and 5,282 Nepalese passed through the TIA immigration office on September 22 and September 23, respectively.
Majority of these arrivals were seen from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia and the United Arab of Emirates.
Outbound Travelers Also on Rise
On the other side, the festival season is also witnessing a significant rise in the number of migrant workers leaving the country.
According to the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), 13,295 Nepali migrant workers applied for outbound travel between September 17 and September 24.
The data covering the last seven days shows that 3,687 migrant workers have applied for work permits in Qatar, followed by UAE (2,979), Malaysia (2,759), Saudi Arabia (2,352) and Kuwait (629).
“This drop during this time of the year is normal. The number will go up once the festival is over,” says DoFE Spokesperson Adhikari.
CIAA Cautions Government on Services
Meanwhile, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) yesterday urged the Government of Nepal to ensure smooth delivery of services during the festivals.
CIAA directed the government officials and other consumer-based organisations to take possible measures in this regard.
Chief Deep Basnyat urged the officials to be alert with regard to issues concerning peace, security and food supply, and also suggested them to conduct regular market monitoring activity. He called on officials to work in coordination to address public grievances on time.
5,000 Security Personnel Deployed
The Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, Kathmandu has prepared to deploy around 5,000 police personnel in the Kathmandu Valley, to ensure peace and security during the festival season covering Dashain, Tihar and Chhath.
Besides Nepali police help desks, special security forces have also been deployed at hotels, bus points, across the Valley.