BHAIRAHAWA, Nov 29: Construction work of Gautam Buddha Airport is going on at a disappointingly slow pace.
Only 26 percent of the work has been completed so far. Om Sharma, chief of the airport upgradation project, said that they had targeted to complete 40 percent of the work by now. Sharma attributed to the slow work progress to last year's Indian blockade, protest in several Tarai districts and the shortage of construction materials.
The project management is unhappy with the work of Chinese contractor North West Civil Aviation Airport Construction. Unsatisfied with its work performance, the project management had corresponded to the Chinese firm's head office on October 7. Before that, the project manager had sent four letters to the contractor to expedite it works.
The expansion work, which started in February of 2015, should be completed by December 2017 as per the contract signed with the Chinese firm.
“Last year, the project was affected by the blockade and the Tarai protests. This year, the construction company has slowed its works,” Sharma said.
The construction of international terminal building, control tower and administrative office has already been completed. Similarly, the construction of fire control building and electrical sub-station is undergoing.
The North West Civil Aviation Airport Construction, which bagged the contract worth Rs 6.22 billion, has requested the project officials for easy availability of construction materials so that they can expedite the project. Responding to the company, the government has decided to allow it to extract aggregates from Tinau River after studying its environmental consequences.
After finding that the aerobridge cannot be connected to an under construction building, the Chinese company is now designing another building. It plans to use the building, which is under construction, as terminal building.
Sharma told Republica that they were designing runway lighting system so that aircraft can land even in low visibility.
Meanwhile, the project plans to add another 428 bigha of land for the airport. The government has already released Rs 4 billion to provide compensation for affected landowners.