The Nijgadh Airport construction project has stepped forward

The Tourism Ministry has instructed the Forest Office Division, Bara to finalize Nijgadh International Airport tree census by November.

By November the ministry agreed to conclude the numbering and labeling of trees, maybe with the addition of manpower. So far, 57,350 trees have been counted. A meeting of the High-Level Facilitation Committee chaired by Yogesh Bhattarai, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, has agreed to complete the tree and pole data counting by mid-November.

The meeting also agreed to expedite the methods and approaches for relocating Tangia community to the project site within 15 days in the development area of the Nijgadh International Airport.

According to the January 20, 2009 resolution, the committee formed under the coordination of the Ministry of Land, Management, Cooperatives, and Poverty Alleviation Joint Secretary was given 15 days to plan the formulation including a position for community management after on-site inspection. It has also been decided to add the head of Division from Forest Office, Bara to the committee.

Similarly, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has been ordered to carry out tree-felling work by Nepal Forest Corporation Limited to complete road construction, connection roads, and tree-felling in the forest area around the four fortifications in the construction area.

Nijgadh International Airport
Late Minister Rabindra Adhikari instructing the officials for Nijgadh International Airport

The meeting also instructed Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal to conclude the remaining work of the contract agreement process for the construction of the airport’s master plan within the next week.

The Investment Board has also agreed to take a final decision on the project plan by September 30 after continuing consultation and interaction with the Zurich International chosen for the airport construction.

At present the Ministry is constructing an airport on 1,900 hectares of land.

There was a disagreement earlier after the Ministry of Tourism had written a letter to the Minister of Forests to cut down trees to construct an airport on 2556 hectares of land.

After mass opposition, the Government has withdrawn from the plan. Landmark Worldwide, which performed a feasibility report on the development of an airport in Nijgadh, proposed a 1,300-hectare airport would be constructed.

Initially, the government had intended to develop an airport town along with the airport. Parliamentary commissions, however, had advised that they would not enforce the proposal to build the area alongside the airport.

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