8 lakhs trees are required to be chopped down for the first phase of construction of the Second International Airport (SIA) at Nijgadh. Total 24 lakhs trees will be cleared for the construction of the airport.
Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Forest and Environment and Rabindra Adhikari, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) discussed on clearing trees for construction of Nijgadh Airport on Monday. After the discussion, Minister of Forest and Environment said that the proposal will be sent to cabinet shortly.
The government has mentioned that Nepal army will be assigned to cut down 8 lakh trees in the first phase as per the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Authorities have stated it would be a challenging task to plant more than 6 crores trees on the replacement of almost 24 lakhs trees needed to be chopped down for the construction of proposed Nijgadh International Airport.
However, the government has not been able to submit Detailed Project Report (DPR) and not being able to select a location for plantation though it has prepared EIA report. Minister of Forest has asked to complete these tasks before sending the proposal to cabinet.
During the discussion between MoFE and MoCTCA, Minister Basnet said that there is no big deal in cutting down trees as it is a part of national pride project but the construction project of the airport should be ensured. He urged Minister Adhikari to clearly list the information about till when the construction work will be completed, who will make the investment and what is the source of investment for the project.
Minister Adhikari urged Forest Minister to work immediately saying time for completion of construction work of alternative airport is limited as Tourism Year is approaching near.