POKHARA, Nov 14: Construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport, a national pride project, has finally started from Sunday. The project has been started with a target to be completed within four years.
Chief engineer of the project Pradip Adhikari informed that the preliminary work of airport construction has begun. “The work has begun with earthwork and managing of drainages,” he said: “This has conveyed the message that the construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport is gathering pace.”
He said that the airport will be constructed as per the design guideline by the contractor China CAMC Engineering. According to Adhikari, after completing the earthwork, rest of the works on drainage, runway, taxi-way, terminal, and other infrastructures will be finalized. The earthwork will be completed by May 2019, he said. Till 2018 May, almost 80 percent of the work will be finished and the remaining works might take another one year to complete.
“During this time, other works of infrastructure construction will be taken forward. We will have to wait till 2019 to get overall framework of the airport,” Adhikari added.
Gerry Yang, project chief of China CAMC Engineering, said that the work has been started with a target to be completed within the timeframe given by the government. “We can complete the work on time with the support of the government, local bodies and local people,” Gerry said: “We are hoping there won’t be any obstruction.”
Currently, 30 engineers and 90 workers have been deployed in the field, Gerry told Republica.
He further said that they were preparing to bring machines from China and other countries for airport construction. The government has handed over the project to the company to be completed by 2021 July. The EXIM bank has already approved loan proposals of Chinese investors to build Pokhara Regional International Airport.
For the airport construction, Rs 21.47 billion has been estimated. This amount will be taken by the Ministry of Finance as a loan from the EXIM bank. This loan is supposed to be paid back within 13 years. The government will pay back the loan in 26 installments, paying two installments every year, Adhikari said.
For the airport construction, 521 ropanis of land have been acquiesced. According to the agreement between China CAMC Engineering and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the airport will be built in 4D model of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), as per the standard of International Civil Aviation Organization. Four decades ago the project had acquired 3,106 ropanis of land in 14, 15 and 18 wards of Pokhara municipality. Later on, additional 521 ropanis of land were acquired.