International Airport projects moving at snail’s pace

Construction works of international airports are not speeding up as expected. According to agreement and contract, Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) at Bhairahawa should be in operation but after half -yearly budget review by finance ministry, the construction work has been reported unsatisfactory.

Construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) termed as national pride started in 2015 and was allocated to be completed by December in 2017 but by the time only 30% work has been completed. As per statement by ministry, construction of runway, taxiway, apron construction work has completed by 30.2% only during the time frame.

The construction project was started with help of Asian Development Bank (ADB) along with some internal and local resources at 6.66 arba and 75 lakh rupees. At the current fiscal year, budget of 7.22 arba was passed for constructing international runway, terminal building, CNS/ATM machines and to acquire the land.

But only 2 arba has been spent till now which is only 27.70% of the budget. The work of the project has not been able to proceed with pace due to poor management, internal disputes between construction companies, delay in connecting the Dedicated Electricity Feeder Line, runway, taxiway and apron, stated a report.

ADB is preparing to pull out from GBIA construction project investment following the unsatisfactory progress made till now.

Similarly construction of Second International Airport (SIA) at Nijgadh, Bara has not started yet. During current fiscal year, 1.5 arba was allocated for SIA project which has not been spent. Construction of fence and perimeter road could not be constructed as permission to eradicate trees of nearby forest is still not approved the report says, adding the modality of investment has not yet been decided for the construction of the airport.

The four governmental bodies had proposed three modalities for construction of SIA which has created uncertainty in the construction project.

Physical progress of regional international airport in Pokhara is also not satisfactory as only 8% work is completed during the tenure and 5 arba was allocated for the project. The project is aimed to be completed in 2021 as per agreement between Nepal and China government in march 2017. The government has acquired additional 50 ropani land for the perimeter road of which compensation is still need to determined thus the budget of this project is also not spent as should be.

Government has allocated 63.70 arba budget for 21 national pride project of which only 12.5 arba has been spent which is only 18.92% with 6 months remaining to complete the current fiscal year and process of spending remaining 81% remains anonymous. Finance ministry stated that no prior study was done before commencing the work by the government.

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