First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Construction work of the Pokhara International Airport (PIA) has been affected due to lack of workers. According to the Civil Aviation Office of PIA, Chinese workers who had gone to China six months ago have not yet returned due to which construction work has been affected for the last six months.
The COVID-19 pandemic had already affected the construction and now shortage of workers will delay the work further. A total of 344 workers including 244 Chinese nationals have been working on the PIA project. However, only 100 Nepali workers are working at the moment during this pandemic.
As per the Civil Aviation Office of PIA, earlier the workers could not return to the field due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on mobility and now they are citing the increasing threat of the virus in Nepal. Despite sending several letters to CAAMC Engineering, the construction company of PIA, they have not sent their workers stating that the health security of their workers is of paramount importance.
Even though the construction has not been halted even a single day, the progress has been unsatisfactory, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) stated in its annual report of fiscal year 2019/2020.
A total of 62 percent of construction work has been completed so far. Construction of the terminal building, ATC tower, hangar, access road, parking area and water system, among other civil works has been completed till date.
The completion deadline for PIA is in 2021 and both CAAN and MoCTCA have claimed that the airport will be ready on time. So far, construction of PIA has been going on smoothly compared to other infrastructure development projects under the ministry.
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