KATHMANDU, Dec 10: Due to lack of budget, the progress of some national pride projects has been disappointing for years. The budget allocated for the Nijgadh International Airport to be built in Tangia Basti of Jitpur-Simara Sub-Metropolitan City is not being spent and is returned every year.
The federal government allocates a budget for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport, but without its decision on relocation of Tangia settlement, the allocated budget is not spent and is returned.
Bijay Yadav, Acting Head of Nijgadh International Airport Project Implementation Unit Office, has said that although the federal government has allocated Rs 450.3 million for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport in the current fiscal year, the capital expenditure is low even after five months have passed.
Yadav said that this year too, as in previous years, the allocated budget would not be spent because the government had not decided to relocate Tangia Basti.
In the year 2022/23, the federal government allocated a budget of around Rs 363.5 million for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport. Yadav said that only Rs 28.2 million was spent from the allocated amount. According to Chief Yadav, about Rs 335 million was returned due to non-expenditure.
He said that while Rs 100 million were received to distribute the compensation for the land to be acquired for the construction of the airport in the year 2022/23, only Rs 651,000 was spent out of that amount.
He said that out of a budget of about Rs 220 million rupees for construction of runway, taxiway and apron, only Rs 23 million was spent under that heading and the remaining Rs 197 million was returned.
Similarly, in the year 2021/22, approximately Rs 568.7 million were received for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport. Yadav said that only Rs 86.9 million was spent that year and the remaining amount was returned.
He said that the necessary budget will be available for the construction of runway, taxiway and apron required for Nijgadh International Airport in Tangia Basti, but if the decision is not taken to relocate Tangia Basti and vacate the land required for that, the budget will have to be returned without spending.
He said that the main problem beyond the budget allocation is the transfer of Tangia Basti, so it is necessary to transfer it to another place as soon as possible. Yadav said that Tangia Basti itself should be relocated to build the airport by cutting fewer trees.
Yadav said that the numbered land to be occupied by the Nijgadh International Airport to be built in Tangia Basti, the houses on it, the distribution of compensation for the tower, river control and fencing are in the final stage.
Yadav said that the compensation of 73 bighas has been distributed out of the 110 bighas numbered land occupied by the airport and the work of distributing compensation to the land owners of the remaining land is in the final stage.
Yadav said that more than Rs 1.13 billion rupees have been spent on compensation distribution, river control and fencing. He said that about 490 million rupees compensation has been distributed to more than 155 land owners of about 73 bighas of land acquired for the airport.
Yadav said that the process of distributing compensation to the owners of remaining numbered lands has also been advanced.
According to the project office, about Rs 670 million has been spent on fencing and embankment works to protect the public and private land occupied by the Nijgadh International Airport.
There is 11,875 bighas of land in the 63 km area allocated for the airport. He also said that the work of fencing the remaining part of the 63 km is in the final stage.
Although it has been determined that only 110 bighas of the land is to be acquired for the second airport under construction, there is a possibility that the numbered land area will decrease.
Since the year 2014/15, the government has been allocating a budget for the construction of the Nijgadh International Airport.