Gautam Buddha International Airport construction picks up the pace

-BHAIRAHAWA

Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), a national pride project has been expected to attain progress as the blacktopping of the runway work is scheduled to initiate immediately after the end of the festive season.

According to project officials, 750 metric tonnes of asphalt have been imported from outside Nepal for blacktopping work and the team of workers and technicians from China will start blacktopping the runway after Dashain.

The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long. The Chinese workers had returned home after completing all the preparations for blacktopping of the runway a week ago.

The Construction work of terminal buildings, water tanks, and control towers, among other infrastructures, are also underway of construction. The festive season would not halt the construction work of the airport as the Chinese construction company did not grant leave to Nepalese workers in a bid to continue work even during festivals.

The Chinese Construction Company Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction has changed the management and carried out work in full swing. Nepalese workers are constructing the international terminal buildings, runway, administrative buildings, and firefighting buildings. The Chinese technical team has been operating roller, other equipment & machines. As many as 15 Chinese and 200 Nepalese workers have been used for the construction of the airport.

Similarly, a dedicated electric feeder line will also be connected to the airport soon. Adhikari said that a sum of 41.40 million Nepalese Rupees was handed over to the Nepal Electricity Authority.

The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for Rs. 6.22 arba and was expected to be completed by end of 2017 but due to shortages of fuel and building materials and due to the months-long Terai closure in 2015 delayed the works by six months along with dispute between the Chinese contractor and the Nepali sub-contractor, Northwest Infra Nepal, and its operation deadline was revised to June 2018 and now to 2019.