August 8: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai has said that the government will start the construction of the Nijgadh International Airport by the end of this year (2019).
The minister said that the government is in the process of finalizing the modality of the airport and seeking investment. He added that the ministry will hold further discussions with the Investment Board regarding this issue.
Speaking at a programme held at the ministry on Wedensday, Minister Bhattarai said that there is no other alternative for Nijgadh International Airport.
According to sources at the ministry, the government had received four proposals for the construction of the airport during the latest Investment Summit. However, the construction modality of the airport has not yet been finalized.
Minister Bhattarai said that the government will soon initiate the process to relocate the settlements and felling of trees in the proposed construction site.
“The problem of squatters and obstruction in cutting down trees will be solved soon in coordination with the local unit,” said Bhattarai.
Although the minister has claimed that the government will lay the foundation stone of the airport within 2019, it seems to be a herculean task for the government. The Council of Ministers had decided to expedite the construction of the airport on May 23, 2018. The government had assigned Nepal Army to fell the trees. However, the army could not move ahead with the task due to the obstruction created by the locals.