Kathmandu, August 8
Owing to the delay in construction works of the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), the government has warned Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Company (NCAAC) — the contractor of the airport — that its licence will be terminated if it fails to speed up construction works by October-end.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) wrote a letter to the Chinese contractor to this effect a week ago stating that the construction work of GBIA, a national pride project located in Bhairahawa, was unsatisfactory.
Confirming the direction to this effect to the contractor of GBIA, officials of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said that though the contractor is required to complete at least five per cent of physical works of the under-construction airport every month, the pace of construction is very slow.
“Despite the September 2017 deadline, hardly 30 per cent of physical construction works at the GBIA has been completed so far,” informed MoCTCA Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari and informed that government would take necessary actions if the current contractor fails to speed up construction processes of GBIA even within the next two months.
The construction of GBIA had been affected for several months due to issues related to payment and others between the Chinese contractor and different local contractors and workers hired by the Chinese company at the project site.
Though the payment issue was temporarily resolved in second week of March and the Chinese contractor was given March-end deadline to complete 30 per cent of construction work, the construction works could not move ahead as the payment dispute resurfaced.
Meanwhile, it has also been learnt that the government is mulling over preparing a fresh tender document to hire a new contractor for the GBIA project in case the current Chinese contractor fails to accelerate the construction works soon.
In November 2013, CAAN had awarded the contract for construction of GBIA to Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Company, as per the 2010 agreement between the government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build the GBIA.
The construction cost of GBIA is estimated to be around Rs six billion and of the total cost, ADB is providing 40.5 per cent as loan and 18 per cent as grant to Nepal, while CAAN will bear the remaining cost.
A version of this article appears in print on August 09, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.