Detailed project report (DPR) of Second International Airport (SIA) at Nijgadh is set to be commenced by government in coming fiscal year. The national pride project was initially given to Landmark Worldwide (LMW) of South Korea related to detailed feasibility study (DFS) however due to various disputes and other factors along with payment dispute to LMW, the project was halted.
Initially according to agreement (MoU) signed between the government and LMW in 2010, contract was made to conduct feasibility study within two years at a total cost of $3.55 million and verbally agreed that Nepal Government would not need to pay LMW any charge for DFS if it manages to get the contract for construction project. However, later though the company completed the study within the timeframe, it claimed the cost of study had gone up to $3.65 million.
Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint secretary at MoCTCA informed that the company officials have verbally agreed to do the necessary to resolve this matter within the next two months and the ministry has asked to provide detailed and transparent evidence based documents and after receiving the documents, ministry will then ask an independent auditor to cross-check and verify it and if everything is okay, the government is set to make payment.
If everything goes according to preparation, ministry is hoping to make DPR and call for bidding process for construction and begin construction of SIA in two years and aim to complete the project within coming 4-5 years which was initially aimed to be completed by 2017-18.
The project will be spread over 80 square kilometres, as per the DFS making it the biggest airport in entire SAARC region and is hoped to minimize congestion of the only international airport of the country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The construction cost is estimated to be 121 billion.