Federal parliament of Nepal’s International relation committee has established sub-committee to study about all the airports of the country. The 5 member sub-committee was established under former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
The sub-committee will make a report about the current situation, area to be improved and making a solution to the problems of the proposed Nijgadh international airport along with other airports within 2 months.
The sub-committee was established after members of parliament expressed their interest in the controversial deforestation of forests to construct Nijgadh International airport. There has been a huge dispute as of the Ministry of Tourism (MoCTCA) stated that they will have to cut more than 2.5 million trees to construct the airport.
Opposition party stated that they are not against the construction of the airport rather stated that the airport should be constructed after detailed study only which should include the model of construction, cost of construction and size of the airport. However cutting the trees prior to those study have led them to not to believe in the ongoing process for construction of the airport.
Currently fencing around the construction site periphery (around 4 pillars) is going on along with the embankment process for Pasaha River and the project has also achieved progress in the environmental evaluation, land acquisition, and compensation distribution. But the controversy rise as the construction of the airport has the direct impact on environmental degradation due to heavy deforestation.
MoCTCA had requested approval from the Ministry of Forest and Environment to cut down trees for construction of second international airport (SIA) which was eventually approved and the Environment Assessment Report (EIA) which was approved had stated that a city would be set up around the airport.
Buddhi Sagar Lammichhane, Joint Secretary of Tourism Ministry stated that Ministry had asked for permission to cut down trees although the Detailed Project report (DPR) was not prepared for the first phase.
Lately, tourism minter has been emphasizing on a construction of the airport as it can be an international hub and can be transit for international flights. He also claimed that the city won’t be set up around the airport in contradiction of EIA.