The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has directed Investment Board Nepal (IBN) to seek request for proposal (RfP) for Nijgadh International Airport (NIA).

At a meeting held today, MoCTCA directed IBN to contact Zürich International Airport by the end of September. Stating that the government’s preparations for the construction of NIA have gathered momentum, MoCTCA has directed IBN to do the needful.

Furthermore, the MoCTCA has decided to complete counting of trees by mid-December for site clearance and construction.

The work will be initiated in association with the Division Forest Office, Bara. Likewise, the MoCTCA has also decided to form a committee coordinated by the joint secretary of Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation to sort out the issues on resettlement of Tangiya Basti.

The committee has to prepare the report within 15 days and submit it with recommendations on resettlement of the people.

The committee has to include chief of Division Forest Office, Bara. The meeting has also decided to direct Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to begin the work of felling trees for the construction of access road for the airport.

As the ministry has already completed counting of trees that need to be cut down for the construction of periphery roads, MoCTCA has decided to submit a proposal to Ministry of Forest and Environment asking for permission to begin the work. As per MoCTCA, a total of 4,232 trees have to be cut down for the construction of periphery roads.

The meeting has also decided to direct CAAN to complete the process of procurement of masterplan for NIA within one week.

Currently, the work of counting trees for clearance of overall construction site and river diverting work is ongoing.

It is to be noted that on May 10 as well a high-level meeting held at MoCTCA had decided to direct IBN for RfP and CAAN for masterplan of NIA. However, no progress has been made on that front so far. And today, MoCTCA has again given similar instructions.

MoCTCA has stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the works had been affected thus another decision was taken today.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 9, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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