24 July 2017- Bhairahawa
Gautam Buddha airport located in Bhairahawa is commonly known as the gateway for the Buddhist pilgrimage which generally attracts Buddhist from around the globe to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. Analyzing the flow of tourism in the region Tourism Ministry of Nepal along with Civil Aviation had been working onto upgraded the airport into the international airport with international stander facilities.
The airport previously has been hit by slow and steady construction works on several occasions. After witnessing the slow progress in the construction process of the Gautam Buddha Airport project in Bhairahawa, CAAN and the BOD of the project have hired international contract management experts for report analysis on the risk of contract termination with the Chinese contractors at Bhairahawa.
The hired management experts have preceded their research and analysis job for finding the results on the issue at the airport. According to a statement published in Kantipur Daily, it claims that the decision of hiring international management experts by the project heads is signaling the China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group about the termination of the contract for its non-performance.
Earlier the Chinese contractor had committed to complete 40 percent of building works until June this year but have only managed to achieve 25 percent only so far. If the Chinese Construction Company gets terminated, it won’t be the first incident of contract termination made by the government such drastically with underperforming contractors. Previously Tourism Ministry and CAAN has already terminated Sanjose, the Spanish renovation contractor of Tribhuwan International Airport for same results. The Spanish contractor was also black listed for their slow job by Tourism Ministry and CAAN.
So, analyzing the same scenario being prevailed at the Gautam Buddha airport in Bhairahawa the Chinese Contractors are more likely to bear the termination of the contract similarly like that of Sanjose.
It has been notified that the dispute over the payments between the contractors along with the illegal appointment of subcontractor (Company owned by the son of former PM Jalanath Khanal) has caused the delay and slow progress of the airport. The issue had also caused the airport to hardly succeed to meet even one percent of construction progress target in past five months.
The progress work was stalled due to the dispute over payments between the Chinese contractor Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group and the Nepali sub-contractor Northwest Infra Nepal at the Gautam Buddha Airport project construction site since March and hasn’t been solved yet. Om Sharma, chief of the project reported that the dispute has adversely affected the progress of the national pride project. Nothing has been done since March which is the focal point for CAAN and Tourism Ministry for contract termination, he added.
According to CAAN officials, the analysis and reviews from hired experts will now suggest the appropriate measures and further decisions.