ADB shows dissatisfaction over tender notice for TIA enhancement project

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has shown dissatisfaction over the air transport capacity enhancement project of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). ADB is the loan provider for the enhancement project of the country’s only international airport.

The loan agreement was done in 2009 however, various disputes and delays from Contractor Company lengthened the project completion deadline. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) announced tender notice for the TIA enhancement project on November this year but ADB showed dissatisfaction as the aviation regulatory body of Nepal did not coordinate with the bank regarding the tender notice.

ADB had already decided to cancel the renewal of loan grant to the government after previous cancellation of the contract however, the director general of CAAN Mr. Sanjeev Gautam informed that they received information on ADB’s decision after announcing the tender.

Finance Ministry initiated some meetings to collect required budgetary fund for the project after the bank agreed to renew the loan agreement and the tender was announced. But meeting among ADB, CAAN and Finance Ministry created conflict.

ADB had agreed to provide USD 80 million for the TIA enhancement project which was expected to complete by 2016 but no any significant progress has been made by the end of year 2018.

Shanxi Construction of China had signed contract to extend the runway by 300 meters at its southern end or runway 02 in last October however, the company didn’t commence the work complaining about increment in prices of construction materials and now is not in contact.

Under the ATCEP, TIA is expected to see some improvements such as reconfiguration and upgrading of airfield infrastructures, construction of parallel and link taxiways, new international apron, 300 meters of runway extension, construction of runway end safety area and an uninterrupted power supply system for essential airfield and security area lights. Moreover, the international terminal building will also be expanded and reconfigured with improvement in utility facilities.

Currently the country’s only international airport TIA is encountering different problematic circumstances such as increasing air traffic, unfavorable weather conditions, lack of proper management and facilities, unmanaged infrastructures and many more. TIA is also facing the problem of insufficient parking space due to the fact that the domestic airlines are expanding their fleet capacity in a rapid pace. Parking space for fixed wing aircraft will not be sufficient now on. So, the enhancement project is desperately required for TIA.

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