There have been a lot of concerns on the topic of cutting down trees for the construction of Second International Airport (SIA) at Nijgadh.
Replying to the rumors which have been burning issue in the present time, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Rabindra Adhikari said that it is not true about cutting down 25 lakhs trees for construction of the airport. He said that this is a planned conspiracy to shake up our work while we are preparing to construct a beautiful airport at Nijgadh.
He claimed that only 2.5 lakhs trees will be cut clarifying the issue which was flourished through media. Forest Ministry has already approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for construction of the airport.
Previously, it was said that 25 lakhs trees would be cleared and 6 crores trees are required to be planted instead, however, Minister Adhikari confirmed that it is just a rumor.
The meeting between Finance Ministry and Tourism Ministry held on August 29, 2018, has already decided to construct Nijgadh Airport in Government-Private partners’ model. It is estimated to cost around Rs 100 billion for the construction of the airport.
Minister Adhikari said that 1 lakh trees of 1800 hectares land will be cut to construct the airport at present time. Apart from the runway and other physical structure of the airport, He also said that Nijgadh Airport will be one of the amazing airports around the world as the airport will be surrounded by greenery of the forest.
“We took 8000 hectares land to make airport surrounded by beautiful nature but some speculated that we are cutting down trees of that area which is completely delusive,” informed Minister Adhikari and claimed that no more trees will be chopped besides the actual requirement.
Minister Adhikari said that small trees will be plucked out along with its root to plant on a new location and as much as trees will be cut down, the afforestation will be carried out as mentioned in EIA report.
A joint meeting between MoCTCA Minister, Finance Minister, Secretary, National Planning Commission (NPC) and investment board was conducted at the ministry regarding the modality finalization for SIA. The meeting has concluded to invite the Letter of Interest (LOI) for the construction modality. It is expected to take 4 months to finalize the company for the construction.