Nepal | July 10, 2020

763,480 trees to be cut for Nijgadh airport

Himalayan News Service
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Second international airport to be completed in seven years if everything pans out

Kathmandu, September 15

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said the government will have to cut down 763,480 trees during the first phase of the construction of the much-talked-about national pride project, Nijgadh International Airport.

Speaking at an interaction programme regarding the environmental issues during the construction of the Second International Airport organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) today in the Capital, Minister Adhikari said that the government has planned to cut down the trees as per the detailed feasibility study (DFS).

According to the DFS report, 194,480 large trees and 569,000 small-sized trees will have to be felled to clear the site for construction of the airport in the first phase.

Adhikari further added that the government plans to cut the trees, conduct detailed project report and start other necessary works simultaneously. He stated that the second international airport will be completed within seven years if everything goes as planned. “We expect to complete the preparatory works in two years and the construction of the airport might take four to five years more,” he explained.

“We also have to first select land to plant trees and then only will we start cutting the trees in the project site. The trees that will be cut down will be managed in coordination with other stakeholders and we will try our best to cause minimum environmental damage to the area,” he stated. Minister Adhikari added that the government has planned to plant trees to minimise the environmental impact caused by the construction of the airport.

“In the present context, when the only international airport in Kathmandu — Tribhuvan International Airport — is struggling to cope with the increasing number of flights, the need for another international airport is felt even more,” he said.

Adhikari further said that the airport will be constructed as per the build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) model and it will be managed through public-private partnership model.

According to the DFS report, the airport will be built in three phases. The total cost of the project has been estimated at over $6.5 billion. Of the total cost, $545 million has been allocated for the first phase, $2.55 billion for the second phase and $3.46 billion for the third phase.

A version of this article appears in print on September 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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