The construction work of Nijgadh International Airport fails to boost up

The construction of Nijgadh International Airport, a national pride project has not been able to speed up the work lately.

The government planned to construct Nijgadh International Airport (NIA) as an international hub like the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, 24 years ago.

There is a plan to develop the hub as an air transit for 22 neighboring countries with around 15 million air passengers.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) claims that the project can be completed in five years but almost two-and-a-half decades have gone by and the project is still struggling to complete even preliminary works.

The construction work of the proposed airports could not be conducted due to the problem of Tangia residence dispute, cutting down trees and land acquisition.

CAAN stated that there is around 11,879.72 bighas of land covering the airport construction area of which 110 bighas of land belong to the public. While the ownership of 65 bighas of private land have already been transferred to CAAN, distribution of compensation to the other land owners is in the final phase now.

Om Narayan Sharma, Chief of Nijgadh International Airport stated that the process of cutting trees could not proceed because of the negative propaganda of the environment impact from cutting down trees and also due to unnecessary disputes of the Tangi settlement.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report approved by the government shows that more than 2.4 million small and large trees will have to be cut down to build the long-awaited modern international airport in Nijgadh that will have a 4,000-metre runway.

Previously, Qatar approached Nepal to build an estimated $1.2 billion mega-airport project in Nijgadh, Bara, in a bid to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia and China in the wake of the blockade imposed by a number of major Arab nations in June 2017.

Pradip Adhikari, chief of National Pride Projects at CAAN stated that the project has been waiting for the construction modality as it is about to complete preparatory work for the airport.

He also said that the work of demarcation of land and fencing walls has been completed till date.

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