Nawalparasi, June 19
Construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa is moving very slowly due to lack of coordination between government agencies.
Shortage of raw materials has affected construction work. Project Chief Om Sharma at South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, Gautam Buddha Airport Upgrading Component, said construction work at the airport had failed to pick up pace despite the September 2017 deadline for completion.
Sharma said China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Company Limited was awarded the contract to build the airport at a cost of Rs 6 billion. “The target was to finish 23 per cent work by now, but only 16 per cent work has been finished till date,” Sharma said.
Nepal government and Asia Development Bank had signed an agreement to build the airport on May 25, 2010.
Of the total cost, ADB has provided 40.5 per cent loan and 18 per cent grant to the government for the airport.
The remaining capital is being covered by the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority and the OPEC Fund International Development of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
ADB’s Nepal Director Kenichi Yokoyama said that he was saddened by the lack of coordination between government agencies. “The construction work is not going ahead as expected”, Yokoyama said.
In the first phase of construction, the building of the runway is under way at the airport. A source at the airport construction project said work on the international terminal building was under way.
Boeing 777-200 and Airbus 330-300 can land once the construction work is over.
A version of this article appears in print on June 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.