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  • Parliamentary committee directs to begin work on Nijgadh International Airport

    Kathmandu, Oct 03: A parliamentary committee has directed the government to begin work on Nijgadh International Airport. In a meeting of National Concern and Coordination Committee of parliament held on Monday directed the ministry to start construction work immediately by addressing the issues related to the airport raised by publics.

    The airport project is on the headlines these days with environment experts and general public questioning the rationale of building airport by clearing valuable forest and destroying habitat of natural wildlife. Likewise, the committee has directed the government to complete all construction works of Gautam Buddha International Airport and bring it into operation within a year. It also told the ministry to resolve land acquisition issues to ensure that the international airport project in Pokhara is completed within the stipulated timeframe.

    The committee also directed the ministry to make public property details of Pashupati Area Development Trust and make collection of donations and offerings at the Pashupati temple transparent.

    Speaking at the meeting, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari said that there was no alternative to constructing Nijgadh airport. “It is better to embark on this project than waste some more years looking for other options,” he said, adding that the government was committed to building the Nijgadh airport by putting minimum possible pressure on environment.

    Upon completion, Nijgadh airport will be the only international standard airport in the country, he said in the meeting, adding that it could be developed as a transit hub for the region. “This is why we need Nijgadh airport and it should be built at any cost,” Adhikari added.

    Likewise, Krishna Prasad Devkota, secretary at MoCTCA, said that Nijgadh airport will be the long-term solution to air traffic congestion that has been plaguing Nepal in recent years. “Trees will be chopped down as per the need,” Devkota said, adding that the airport will be build under BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) model.

    He also said that it will take at least two years to make necessary preparation and five to seven years for construction. Devkota also claimed that all the political parties and stakeholders are in favor of constructing the airport at Nijgadh.

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