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KATHMANDU: The expert group formed by the government regarding the construction of the Nijgadh International Airport has handed over the study report to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. In the presence of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Jeevan Ram Shrestha, expert group coordinator Birendra Bahadur Deuja handed over the study report to Prime Minister Deuba in a program held at the Prime Minister’s residence Baluwatar on Sunday morning. Along with this, the way to build an international airport in Nijgadh has been opened.
According to the decision of the Supreme Court, the expert group formed according to the decision of the Council of Ministers on 11 Aug to study and submit a report for the construction of a full capacity international airport has prepared a study report. The conclusion of the expert group is that an international airport with full capacity to handle the growing air traffic is necessary for Nepal’s long-term development and economic prosperity.
According to the report, a suitable location for a full-capacity international airport is an area of about 4,000 hectares within an area of about 9,000 hectares between the Pasaha River and the Bakia River, which is connected to the Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway (Fast Track) and the East-West Highway. The expert group has suggested that the airport city concept should be completely abandoned keeping in mind the Supreme Court’s order to reduce tree cutting and environmental damage.
An airport protection area of about 9,000 hectares has been declared and the airport will be constructed in different stages, a total area of about 4,000 hectares will be used for the construction of the airport and the rest of the area should be protected by the airport management including river erosion prevention and other necessary protection works.
It is mentioned in the report that in order to prepare an environmental management plan so that there is no adverse impact on the environment, after completing the legal methods and procedures and obtaining the necessary approvals, the construction of the airport should be carried out.
It is recalled in the report that the Constitution of Nepal has given the government a constitutional obligation to make necessary legal arrangements for proper balance between the environment and development in the work related to the country’s development, as there is international law and precedent principle propounded by the Supreme Court that the government can balance and manage the environment and development.
It is mentioned in the report of the expert group that the necessary land for the construction of a full capacity international airport should be acquired and the affected stakeholders should be compensated, compensated and rehabilitated according to the law.
There is a major biological route of elephants within the extended area of Parsa National Park, but the area where some elephants come to roam near the construction site is outside the construction site, so the government can protect that area as well. Vulture are not seen near the road construction site and the presence of endangered vultures of Nepal is also low in the area, it is mentioned in the report.
After the construction and operation of a full-capacity international airport, the proposed Himalaya-2 route (Kathmandu-Guwahati-Kunming) and L-626 (Kathmandu-Mahendranagar Delhi) can be made two-way by flying over Nepal’s airspace and from this to Europe, Middle East, East Asia Pacific region.
According to the report, the distance, time and fuel consumption of two-way international flights to the countries will be significantly reduced and carbon emissions will be reduced due to fuel savings.
The expert group has also suggested that the construction of a full-capacity international airport is delayed, the more expensive and complicated it will become, and the return of Nepal’s development will be delayed, and a development organization with special powers should be formed and it should be built quickly in a time-bound manner.
PM Deuba said that the construction of the airport should not be delayed. He thanked the expert group for studying and submitting the report on time. Minister Shrestha said that the work will proceed according to the report given by the expert group.
Deuba said that the construction of a full capacity international airport will be started soon. Economist Rameshwar Khanal, development planning expert Dr. Suryaraj Acharya, Urban Development Expert Prof. Dr. Sangita Singh, wildlife and environment expert Prof. Dr. Prem Bahadur Budha, plant and environment expert Prof. Dr. Dr. Suresh Kumar Ghimire, Sociologist. Lachi Singh, Senior Pilot Krishna Vikram Poudel, Senior Advocate Dr. Chandrakant Gyawali and air route expert Mahesh Kumar Basnet were members.
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