Sanjiv Gautam removed from CAAN DG post

Kathmandu, September 26

The director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Sanjiv Gautam has been removed from his post.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation today decided to remove Gautam from the top post of CAAN and transferred him to the ministry with immediate effect.

The government’s decision to remove Gautam from his post has come at a time when Gautam’s work performance at the country’s aviation sector regulatory body had been questioned time and again.

“The former chief of CAAN has been brought to the ministry and given separate responsibilities,” informed Ghanashyam Upadhyaya, spokesperson for MoCTCA. The ministry will soon take a decision to appoint a new DG at CAAN, according to MoCTCA officials.

Gautam was appointed CAAN’s director general for a four-year term in 2015.

According to Upadhyaya, a three-member team, led by Gautam, has been formed at the MoCTCA to suggest to the government ways to improve the civil aviation sector of the country. The team has also been given the responsibility of studying detailed project report of Nijgadh International Airport and suggesting the budget for the project.

In the last few weeks, Gautam had been facing criticism for his poor work performance at CAAN. Questioning his work performance, the government had sought clarification from Gautam twice. The government had sought clarification from Gautam for the second time last week asking him to explain why he failed to perform at the country’s aviation regulatory body.

Gautam has been blamed for ending the contract for Tribhuvan International Airport project with Constructora Sanjose, delaying construction of an international airport in Nijgadh and a regional international airport in Pokhara, and failing to resolve issues with the Chinese contractor in the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa.

Gautam was also rapped for not using the airport development fee for upgradation of Tribhuvan International Airport and his inability to check rapid encroachment on its land in Bhaktapur from where the Civil Aviation Academy operates.

However, Gautam had furnished his clarification claiming that the allegations levelled against him were baseless and there was no ground to remove him from the post. Despite repeated attempts, THT was unable to get in touch with Gautam.