Approval of EIA provides green signal for Nijgadh Int’l Airport construction

The way has been opened for the construction of Nijgadh international airport as the Ministry of Forest and Environment has approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

According to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation EIA was approved by a cabinet decision on Wednesday. The proposal of EIA for Nijgadh intl’ airport has been approved so the way has been opened to carry out further construction task said Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari.

Ministry of Finance was unable to spend 1 billion 50 million NRP allocated for Nijgad Intl’ Airport while reviewing the semiannual budget of the fiscal year. It is stated on the report that, lack of approval to eradicate forest area has halted construction of fence and perimeter road.

With the approval, Ministry of Forest has said to meet 15 proposals. As per the Press Coordinator of Tourism Minister Pokhrel said CAAN has to address any new environmental question and effects, if raised during the construction. Similarly, after the construction work is started report should be given to the concerned authority about environmental status and impact from time to time. While constructing temporary structure Authorization should construct those structures in accordance to decommissioning plan.

Nepal Army has taken the responsibility of constructing peripheral road for this airport. Numerous trees have to be chopped down for which ministry has said to look after the effect and minimize the impact.

Also the concerned authority should look after the effect on ponds, rivers, drinking water and in irrigation situated around the project area. Similarly, they should be looking forward to minimize the possibility of human, domestic and wildlife accident near the project area and should be cautious about it. Ministry has also made aware of the possible incidents like loss, theft and export of wildlife by the workers involved on the project. The report has also suggested not excavating construction materials randomly, not to throw removal of waste from the project so that it would block the rivers and so on.

The national pride project’s detailed feasibility study (DFS) has been already done by the Korean Company Landmark Worldwide (LMW) in 2011. LMW has said that the total cost required for the project is Rs500 billion. Though the construction project was proposed since long time, there is still confusion on choosing appropriate model. Ministry of Finance had advised to adopt Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model rather than Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Finance (EPCF) model for Nijgadh International Airport.

LMW pointing out to move away one thousand four hundred dwellers of Tagiya society said the project will require 11 thousand bigha lands. The work of seperating four fortresses have been completed on this project and the responsibility of eradicating trees inside the project area have been given to the Nepal Army.

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