Progress on physical work went up to 85% from 25% in past two years
BHAIRAHAWA, Dec 28: The deadline of under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport is ending this Tuesday. The construction company has submitted an application for deadline extension, for the fourth time, citing various reasons for their inability to complete the construction on time.
Construction company North West Civil Aviation submitted the application at Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Thursday, stating that it will not be able to complete the work by the end of December. Prabesh Adhikari, head engineer of the project, said it would be the last extension of deadline.
Construction of the gross physical infrastructure of the airport has come to the final stage, but due to lack of electro-mechanical equipment the work has stalled. Project officials told Republica that there was no other alternative than ask for an extension.
During the initial phase, construction work went at snail's pace but in the past two years, there has been substantial progress. The progress on physical works went up to 85% from 25% in the past two years.
The works under ICB-2 are almost complete, but some of the ICB-1 works remain. According to Prabin Neupane, project manager, ICB-1 works need to be completed for ICB-2. The airport authorities are trying their best to operate a test flight in April.
The project office has said that areas for customs, quarantine, immigration, and security agencies have already been assigned. Concerned agencies are responsible for required infrastructure and management of furniture, and they have already arrived in the airport, the office said. Right now works on installation of equipment, coloring, wiring, installation of CCTV camera, installation of air-conditioner, and parking spaces are going on, according to the project office.
The government had given a contract to North West Civil Aviation in November 2014 for the construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport.
The initial estimate for the project was Rs 6.22 billion, and the work started on December 31, 2014. Asian Development Bank has given 40.5% of the amount in loan and 18% in grant, OPEC Fund for International Development has given 30.5% in loan, and 11% comes from the CAAN for the airport.