Update on the to-be-constructed airports in the eastern part of the country
Kathmandu – 19 December 2016
According to government plans to expand and construct new airports in the eastern side of Nepal, the required surveys have already been completed in Biratnagar. The construction had also paced up. But, the completion of the airport is still out of question.
In case of Illam, the locals of the district were excited about the construction of new airport. The airport was going to be constructed in Sukilumba which is about five kilometers far from the district headquarters and the works to acquire the lands had already been started four years ago.
But, enough budgets were not provided for the construction and the establishment done before has started to fall down. The airport would have made transportation easy towards the hilly districts of Mechi zone as well as to the nearby Indian cities like Darjeeling and Sikim. A year ago, a simple paved runway was established and later after much time period, the work for drainage was started. The airport was named after Falgunanda, the national symbolic figure and about one crore rupees was invested till then. This year, about eight crore rupees was invested which is quite low for the construction. According to CAAN, the airport would require 35 crore rupees for the complete construction and launching of the airport. According to a CAAN official, the allocation of budget has been slow as most of the airports in the country are under maintenance and the much anticipated international airports are under construction.
Likewise, in Sankhuwasabha, 92 meters deep level was dug upon for the construction but the complete digging has not been done due to lack of budget. Local construction equipment are used which is provided by the Chainpur municipality which informed that the appeal for the allocation of required budget to complete the construction has been done in all levels.
In Dhankuta, Belhara was selected by CAAN to construct the airport but the procedure to initiate the construction has been lacking pace. The technical team of CAAN had sent about a report about five years ago suggesting that the Faujtar of Belahara was appropriate for the construction of the airport. For tourism perspective, the construction of the airport would be beneficial for the promotion of the areas likes Bhedetar, Hile, Rajarani lake located in Chaubise, Milke famous for Rhododendron, Jhaljale and many more.
Phidim which is the headquarters for Panchthar district was selected for the airport construction. Gumdad of Ranitaar-6 was selected as the site and the locals had provided the lands for free after they heard the news of the airport construction. CAAN has made sure the airport will be established there according to a parliamentary member.