The experts’ group formed by the government to study the feasibility of an international airport in Nijgadh of Bara district has submitted its study report to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba the other day.
Convenor of the experts’ group Birendra Bahadur Deuja handed the report in the presence of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, amidst a programme at the Prime Minister’s residence, Baluwatar Sunday.
The experts’ group was formed as per a decision taken by the government on August 11 pursuant to a mandamus order of the Supreme Court. The experts’ group has concluded that an international airport with full capacity is needed to handle the increasing air traffic for the long-term development and prosperity of Nepal.
According to the report, around 4,000 hectares area within approximately 9,000 hectares area lying between the Pasaha River and the Bakaiya River adjoining the East-West highway and the Kathmandu-Tarai Express Way would be an appropriate location for constructing the full-capacity international airport. The experts’ group has recommended to fully abandoning the concept of ‘airport city’ keeping in mind the Supreme Court’s order to reduce the felling of trees and environmental damage. The report has also recommended to declare around 9,000 hectares as the protected zone and to use only about 4,000 hectares of area for the airport, the construction of which is to be carried out under different phases.
The report has recommended that the airport management should carry out works like prevention of river erosion and other conservation works including protecting the trees in the remaining areas. It has stated that trees in only around 1,500 hectares area be cut in the first phase and not cut the trees in the remaining area until the commencement of the second phase of construction works.
It is stated in the report that the construction of the airport should be carried out by preparing an environmental management plan after fulfilling its legal process and procedures and taking the necessary approval. It has reminded the government about its constitutional obligation to make the necessary legal arrangements for maintaining an appropriate balance between development and the environment while carrying out works of development.
During the occasion, PM Deuba stressed the need of constructing the international airport in an expeditious manner. He also congratulated the experts’ team for the timely submitting the report.