Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inspects Pokhara Airport under construction

11th Oct, 2021 | Tourism Mail Crew

POKHARA, Oct 11: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has inspected the Pokhara Regional International Airport under construction. During the inspection, the airport construction project Chief Binesh Munankarmi informed about the problems in the construction of the airport.

Project Chief Binesh Munankarmi informed that the work of the project is 85 percent complete. He said that the problem of cutting down the Rithepani hill in the approach of the airport, alternative arrangement of the landfill site and management of the floodplain entering the airport area every year should be solved to make the operation of the airport easier.

"Due to the lack of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the cutting of hill has not progressed in a concrete way," he said. He clarified that the airport could not come into operation without cutting down the Rittepani hill. He also briefed the Prime Minister's Office on the progress of both EIA and Cutting of Hill.

Similarly, Munankarmi said that the water from Kahu, Kundahar, Chauthe, Bijaypur and other areas used to enter the runway of the airport during heavy rains, which could lead to problems in the operation of the airport. Stating that it should be managed, he said that it would cost around Rs 640 million.

Project Chief Munankarmi said that there is a growing fear that the operation of the airport will be affected if an alternative landfill site is not identified. He briefed Prime Minister Deuba that the current landfill site has to be relocated as it is 2 km closer to the airport. He said that the landfill should be shifted six months before the airport comes into operation. 

In response, Prime Minister Deuba assured to manage the necessary budget for flood management. Gandaki Chief Minister Krishnachandra Nepali Pokharel, who participated in the inspection, said that the metropolis would manage the landfill site as it was the responsibility of the metropolis to find an alternative.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Deuba told reporters that the Rithepani hill at the approach of the airport would be cut soon. "Cutting down the hill should start soon, it will not affect the operation of the airport," he said. The Pokhara Airport, which is being constructed with an investment of Rs 22 billion, is being constructed by China's CAMC Engineering Company to be completed by July 10, 2022. Earlier, an agreement was reached to complete the construction work on July 10, 2021, but the deadline was extended by one year due to delay in construction due to Covid 19.