The construction work of Nijgadh International Airport, a national pride project has gradually started. Currently, fencing around the construction site periphery (around 4 pillars) is going on along with the embankment process for Pasaha River.
The project has also achieved progress in the environmental evaluation, land acquisition and compensation distribution, however, there are some disputes and controversies going on regarding the construction of the airport. Especially, environmental degradation due to heavy deforestation along with irregularities in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been a matter of discussion these days.
Chief of the project stated that fencing work has been completed in more than 8km apart from Kholcha river and around 803m of Pasaha river.
Some area under the airport construction site has not been vacated after people showed dissatisfaction for the compensation provided. Out of 110 bigha area, 141 people of the 56 Bigha have been compensated in the acquisition of Kakadi and Katghau. The fencing will be started from the acquired land.
The locals have asked the government to provide appropriate compensation. During the construction of the airport, settlement zone of Tagiya has appeared as a major problem where 1476 families have been living. The project official said that the government is planning to transfer the settlement.
Similarly, the concerned ministry has already started working for clearing the trees. The approval for cutting trees is pending as EIA has been approved already. The project chief said that after receiving approval, Nepal Army will start cutting trees. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Rabindra Adhikari said that 1 lakh trees of 1800 hectares land will be cut to construct the airport at present time.
Apart from the runway and other physical structure of the airport, Minister Adhikari also said that Nijgadh Airport will be one of the amazing airports around the world as it will be surrounded by greenery of the forest. “We have allocated 8000 hectares land to make airport surrounded by beautiful nature but some speculated that we are cutting down trees of that area which is completely delusive,” informed Minister Adhikari and claimed that no more trees will be chopped besides the actual requirement. Minister Adhikari said that small trees will be plucked out along with its root to plant on a new location and as much as trees will be cut down, the afforestation will be carried out as mentioned in EIA report.