Committee recommends immediate start of Nijgadh airport works

Published On: January 27, 2019 04:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 27: Parliament's sub-committee formed for field study of progress of airports under the national pride projects has recommended the International Relation Committee (IRC) to direct concerned authorities to take immediate action for construction of Nijgadh International Airport (NIA).

Submitting a report to the committee on Thursday, the sub-committee has highlighted the need of building site office immediately in order to commence the construction, stating that the project has already been delayed for long.

"The site office is needed to be established immediately to give compensation and start resettlement along with land acquisition. Moreover, the land for re-plantation should be finalized soon before the construction begins,” the report read.

In the absence of a site office, every small activity for the airport construction has to be carried out from Simara airport, which is not an effective way of working, the sub-committee said.

The sub-committee further said that around 600 trees were needed to be felled to build the site office, and as such the IRC must recommend the concerned authorities to build the site office to commence the first phase work of airport construction.

Likewise, the sub-committee has also recommended the committee to direct Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to clear payment of South Korean company Landmark Worldwide (LMW).

The IRC sub-committee has found that authorities have not revised report submitted by the LMW as per the present requirement.

The report has further recommended carrying out the project in Public Private Partnership (PPP) model harming as little forest area as possible.

As mentioned in the report, around 11879.72 bigha of land covers the construction area of which 110 bigha is private land. For private land acquisition, compensation for 55 bigaha 12 kattha land has already been given, while compensation for the remaining land is yet to be given.

Moreover, the ownership of 58 bigha of private land has been already transferred to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

A nine-member high level committee coordinated by Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari has been formed to take the project forward, while an 11-member committee coordinated by Tourism Secretary Krishna Prashad Devkota has been formed for the implementation of the project. Demarcation of construction site has already been completed.

The government is planning to develop Nijgadh as an international hub like Indira Gandhi International Airport of India. There is plan to develop the hub as an air transit for 22 neighboring countries.

The CAAN has targeted to clear the site for construction within two years, and complete the project within five years. The airport requires 2,593 hectare of land that has 194,480 trees and 575,211 pole size trees that needs to be cleared. Around 15 million air passengers are expected to use this airport.

Beside the Nijgadh airport, the sub-committee has also recommended the IRC to direct concerned authorities to build up and upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport, Gautam Buddha International Airport, and Pokhara Regional International Airport targeting the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.

The IRC had formed the five-member sub-committee coordinated by Madhav Kumar Nepal in September last year.

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