Laxmi Capital News
7% work at Pokhara international airport completed in 3 months

Theconstruction of Pokhara Regional International Airport, which is considered asa project of national pride, appears to have taken pace. 

However,within the span of nearly three months, just seven percent of the constructionwork that had commenced in mid-November last year has been completed. 

Accordingto project chief Dinesh Munakarmi, the pace of work as for now is satisfactoryconsidering the amount of time. “Seven percent of the work has been completed,the work at the initial phase for larger construction projects are usuallyslower in the beginning. The work will be done at a faster pace now as therequired equipment are now in our disposal,” Munakarmi said.

Heexplained that due to the delay in delivery of advanced equipment, there wasdelay in work as it had to be carried out using locally available material andtechnology. 

“Wenow have more improved equipment, which will help us improve the pace of work.These high-tech heavy equipment were stuck at the port in Kolkata lately,”Munakarmi said. 

Twenty-oneheavy mechanical equipment have now been delivered to the construction site ofthe Pokhara Regional International Airport by the construction company ChinaCAMC. 

 Accordingto Munakarmi, 25 percent of earthwork that is being carried out at theconstruction site has been completed. The construction company aims to finish80 percent of the earthwork by the end of FY2017/18 in addition to theconstruction of the terminal building and what remains of the sewage and waterway facility. 

Theestimated cost of construction of the airport hovers at around Rs 22 billion.About 400,000 cubic meters of soil has been excavated from the ground forconstructing the runway.

Theexchange of funds for this project has been smooth due to convenient agreementsbetween the primary Chinese funding agency Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and theGovernment of Nepal. 

Dueto the irregular land formation in the airport construction site, excavatorsand  dozers have been used to level the construction site for the runway.Due to ground rigidity, it has taken much more time than expected to level it,according to Munakarmi. Once the earthwork is completed, placements for thewater way, runway, taxi way and terminal will be determined, according to theproject officials. They estimated that the framework of the airport would becomplete by May 2019. 

Theconstruction company has until July 2021 to complete the project. While theconstruction work is being carried out, EXIM bank has already agreed to providesubsidized loan for the project. 

Asper the agreement between the Government of Nepal and EXIM Bank, the loan mustbe paid back within 13 years. As the first seven years of this period is termedas ‘grace period’ the government will only have to commence payment after thisperiod. According to officials, an agreement was made allowing Nepal to pay thedebt in 26 installments within 13 years. 

Total521 ropani of land has been further acquired by the government for the purposeof construction of the airport. An agreement was struck between China CAMC andNepal Civil Aviation Authority in this regard. 

Theland acquisition process for the airport began nearly four decades ago.However, as the 3106 ropani of land seemed inadequate, additional land wasacquired.

 

Source:MyRepublica 28th February 2018

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