Nepal | May 27, 2020

High-level committee formed to expedite construction of int’l airport in Nijgadh

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 24

The government has formed a high-level committee led by Rabindra Adhikari, minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation, to expedite construction process of the long-planned international airport in Nijgadh – Nijgadh International Airport (NIA).

The Cabinet meeting today decided to form such a committee in the backdrop of the NIA project failing to move ahead as envisioned.

The committee, which is coordinated by Adhikari, consists of secretaries from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land Reform and Management and Ministry of Forest and Environment and director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

The Cabinet has designated this committee to primarily look into issues at the planned NIA related to distribution of land compensation to public, land acquisition and forest clearance, among other issues that have been hindering its development.

Though the construction of NIA has been in discussions since many years, the government has not been able to finalise even the construction modality of the airport. Also, issues related to land compensation and forest clearance are repeatedly obstructing the construction of the project.

Minister Adhikari said the government will put the NIA project under top priority and complete its construction within a few years. “An optional international airport is a must in the country for the domestic aviation industry to flourish. The committee will soon hold a meeting and do the needful to address the problems in developing NIA,” he said.

Moreover, unveiling the 100-day work plan of MoCTCA a few weeks back, Adhikari had vowed to finalise the construction modality of the airport in Nijgadh within May.

So far, the government has purchased detailed feasibility study report of NIA project from South Korean company Landmark Worldwide, which was carried out in 2011. Currently, a technical committee at MoCTCA is studying the report.

The report has estimated that a budget of Rs 65 billion would be required for the construction of the first phase of the NIA project.

The government has also signed a pact with Nepali Army recently to clear the project site within 2020.

The government has also started distributing land compensation to people in Nijgadh, whose land falls within the project site.

A version of this article appears in print on April 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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