Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has issued a new deadline for the completion of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) Project that is September 2019.
Sanjiv gautam, Director General of CAAN told that as per amount of high number of laborer and amount of construction materials stocked at the site, they are able to estimate the time and as of now 35% work has been achieved, they are also expecting to complete 50% of physical work by end of June.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for Rs. 6.22 billion 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.
From then the project completion deadline was extended many times and the last deadline given by the main financier of project Asian Development Bank (ADB) is June 2019. Due to slow paced work, ADB had informed that it won’t be able to assist with finance to Nepal Government but if the contractor improves the work by mid-march, they will continue providing financial support.
A team of officials from Asian Development Bank-ADB inspected the GBIA project recently. ADB was the main aider for the construction of the airport but had stopped providing loan and grant from January this year as the work was not completed in given time-frame.
DG Gautam said that the official conformation have not been provided but are positive that ADB is satisfied and will continue providing loan and grant. Newly appointed Tourism Minister Mr. Rabindra Adhikari said that government has resolved the problems faced by project and applauded the progress of the project.
Key components of project such as construction of runway except blacktopping and construction of international terminal building except roofing has been completed as stated by project officials. After completion of this airport, it will serve the business and tourism of Bhairahawa and will also facilitate international pilgrimage tourism to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.