Kathmandu, August 23
Under construction Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) has achieved 80 per cent of work progress so far.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the work progress of GBIA is going smoothly and the project will be able to meet the set deadline this time. The project has been divided into two phases — ICB 01 that includes infrastructural work and ICB 02 that includes installing the equipment. As per CAAN, ICB 01 has reached the final phase.
However, the remaining work towards ICB 01 — the installation of lights — will begin only after the Dashain festival. As per CAAN, tender for installation of lights was awarded to the Chinese company, Northwest Civil Aviation, a week ago. By Dashain, all the construction materials will be supplied to the construction site. As stated by CAAN, it will take around a month to complete the installation of the lights.
Meanwhile, ICB 02 is still to begin. As per CAAN, soon after ICB 01 is finished, ICB 02 phase will begin, for which it has already started preparations.
Earlier, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had also directed the project committee to complete the GBIA construction on time during his inspection. Minister Bhattarai, who visited the project site in Bhairahawa on August 8, had said that GBIA’s completion within the December deadline is a ‘test’ for all project officials and the government itself. “In such a context, all the stakeholders involved in the project should ensure that the project does not miss the deadline this time,” he had said at that time.
Against the backdrop of project officials and contractors citing ineffective coordination from local governments in Bhairahawa and nearby districts to supply river products to the project, Bhattarai had also directed local governments to facilitate project development.
The upgradation of GBIA was started in January 2015, with a target to complete it by December 2017. However, conflict between contractors, Tarai-Madhesh movement after earthquake of 2015 and lack of construction materials were cited as some of the reasons hindering the timely completion of GBIA. Consequently, the completion deadline was extended to June 2018 and again to December.
A version of this article appears in print on August 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.