Chinese contractor vows to complete Pokhara Regional Int'l Airport on time

POKHARA: The Chinese contractor has assured Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jitendra Narayan Das that Pokhara Regional International Airport would be completed in stipulated time in Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City, on Wednesday.

Minister Das said his Ministry is ready to co-operate with the project and hoped that the much awaited National Pride Project would be completed on time.

Das also said he would expedite the on-going construction of the Simara and Gautam Buddha Regional International Airports.

Minister Das shared that he would initiate talks with the high level authorities in India for air connectivity.

Gerry Yang, Nepal representatives of the China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd, Asia-Pacific Division No 1 Engineering Department Chief, said the project would be completed by July 10, 2021.

Yang said during the meeting with Minister Das who is inspecting the project after being appointed to Minister by PM Sher Bahadur Deuba from Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led Nepal Loktantrik Forum quota in his Cabinet.

"We do not have any problems from the locals, more than 100 technicians and other have been working in the site," Yang added.

One of Nepal's National Pride Project is being constructed in 3627 ropanis of land at Chinne danda in Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City with soft loan of $215.96 million from China Exim Bank.

More than four decades ago the Government of Nepal had acquired more than 3106 ropanis of land for the construction of Airport in the area.

Later, 516 ropanis of land were acquired for the airport of which 13 ropanies of land is yet to be compensated to its owners, according to the project's General Manager Pradeep Adhikari.

"More than 50 ropanis of land will be acquired for the construction of road around the airport," Shared Adhikari.

The project designed to be built under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model was contracted to the China CAMC Engineering by Nepal Government on October 27, 2014.

The airport will have 2500 metres of runway as per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) norms set for 4D airports.

The Pokhara Regional International Airport committee co-ordinator Rabindra Adhikari said that the landfill site adjourning to the Project would be shifted to other locations within a year.

Meanwhile, local lawmakers Sita Giri and Sharada Paudel have urged the government to provide satisfactory compensation to the victims.

CPN-UML Chairman and then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone of the project in presence of other opposition party leaders on April 13, 2016.

Boeing 757 and Airbus 320 would connect Pokhara with other international destinations after the completion of the project.

The construction site of Pokhara Regional International Airport in Pokhara, on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Photo: Rup Narayan Dhakal
The construction site of Pokhara Regional International Airport in Pokhara, on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Photo: Rup Narayan Dhakal