Nepal government allocating five billion rupees for Nijgadh International Airport


Kathmandu, May 24

The KP Oli government is allocating a whopping five billion rupees for the construction of Nijgadh International Airport in Dumarwana of Bara district for the coming fiscal 2073-74 BS. The amount is meant for land acquisition for the project, resettlement of displaced people, environmental impact assessment and preparation of the project’s detailed project report.

The government aims to complete these four tasks within the coming fiscal, according to a source at the Ministry of Tourism. An official associatd with budget making ssays the government will provide more money for the project if the allocated sum is not enough.

For the project, the government will have to acquire 1,200 bigah of land, 90 per cent of which is forest. The government will have to pay private citizens around four billion rupees for acquiring 150 bigah of their land.

On top of it, it will have to resettle 1,600 households. The ministry says the government will resettle these people within the coming fiscal. For the current fiscal, government had allocated one billion rupees for land acquisition.

The aim is to prepare a fresh detailed project report within the coming fiscal. This comes after the government decided to develop the project by mobilising national capital. The Ministry of Finance will make arrangements for funds required to implement the project.

A South Korean company, LMW, had prepared the project’s DPR. As per its DPR, the development of the international airport, together with an airport city, will require seven trillion rupees. Construction of the city alone will require five trillion rupees, according to the report. The report is currently with Investment Board Nepal.

Minister for Tourism, Ananda Prasad Pokharel, said: By mobilising national capital, we can develop the airport at relatively cheaper cost. “We don’t need the airport city for now. And we don’t need to develop two runways in the first phase,” he said, adding: We need the airport first, we can develop the airport city gradually.

As per the LMW report, the project cost minus the airport city will come down to two trillion rupees. In the first phase, the government plans to develop and operate the airport with a single runway. It plans to develop other infrastructure gradually.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has submitted a report to the tourism ministry, stating that such an airport (single runway and without airport city) can be constructed in the first phase by investing Rs 1.22 trillion.

The airport will cover 80 sq km, making it South Asia’s largest airport. The government aims to develop it as a transit airport.

Published on May 24th, Tuesday, 2016 2:45 PM

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