KATHMANDU, Nov 23: Minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai has said that the government will demarcate boundaries for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport that is proposed to be built in Bara.
Speaking at a press meet in Kathmandu on Friday, Minister Bhattarai said discussion regarding the development of the project is taking place with the IBN. “Demarcation of boundaries will take place in the first phase of the work for which we are coordinating with the Ministry of Forests and Environment,” he said, adding, “Decisions regarding the land will be finalized within this month after which site clearance and construction of road will take place in the first phase.”
He informed that the financials for the project is being taken care of by the IBN and the ministry has enough budget for site clearance and shifting the settlements. “The decision of Prime Minister KP Oli regarding the construction of airport with government initiative is still in place,” he added.
Stating that there is no alternative to Nijgadh Airport, Bhattarai said, we will develop the airport responsibly and the need to chop 2.5 million trees is just a rumor as the original need is not even half of what is being told. “We will work in a pace that assures international flights in five years,” he added.
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) had shortlisted Zurich Airport International AG for the construction of the airport on September 23. Seven companies had submitted letters of intent (LOI) from various firms for the airport construction project but the IBN had shortlisted Zurich Airport International AG stating only it was qualified for the project as its LOI matched the eligibility criteria set by the board. The project will be developed in a public-private partnership model.
The estimated cost for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport is Rs 670 billion. The board had showcased the airport project during the Investment Summit 2019 held in March.
Similarly, Gautam Buddha International Airport has completed 90% construction work. The airport in Bhairahawa is said to be ready for trial flights by the first quarter of 2020. The airport was originally scheduled to be completed in December 2017 while the new deadline is December 2019.