Chinese company delaying TIA expansion project; CAAN willing to break the contract

China Shanxi Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd. which undertook the major airside and landside infrastructure improvement works at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from Spanish contractor Constructora Sanjose has held up the work and has delayed the progress. And even though the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had directed to commence the work, the company has not provided any response.

The construction work was due to start from November last year but even after 5 months from the date, the work has not been started yet. After no response from the company to repeated call from CAAN, the authority is set to break the contract with the company.

Previous contractor, Spanish contractor Constructora Sanjose also had held the work for nearly 3 years and started in 2013 only. But by end of 2016, only 20% work was completed by the company and CAAN had breached the contract and divided the project in 3 different packages among which runway expansion (NCB 001) contract was given to the Chinese company. According to a source, officials of CAAN are ready to break the contract any time soon as there are no other alternatives to the company.

On the other hand, other two companies are working in their field. One company is working for construction of terminal and other for installing generator and other equipment.

Lately, there have been high traffic in TIA but the capacity of the airport has not been increased. And also there is no any other option rather than increasing the capacity till the operation of Bhairahawa international airport and Pokhara regional airport. Due to traffic congestion at TIA, aircrafts have to hold for up to 45 minutes and some to be diverted to India and if any problem arise at the airport, flights have to be cancelled.

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