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7% Work at Pokhara International Airport Completed in 3 months

Pokhara International Airport
Photo Credit: Bharat Koirala via The Himalayan Times

The construction of Pokhara Regional International airport which commenced in mid-November has only had 7 percent completion, as of now, reports My Republica.

What they are saying:

  • According to project chief Dinesh Munakarmi, the pace of work as for now is satisfactory considering the amount of time. “Seven percent of the work has been completed, the work at the initial phase for larger construction projects are usually slower in the beginning. The work will be done at a faster pace now as the required equipment are now at our disposal,” Munakarmi said.
  • He explained that due to the delay in delivery of advanced equipment, there was a delay in work as it had to be carried out using locally available material and technology.
  • “We now have a more improved equipment, which will help us improve the pace of work. This high-tech heavy equipment was stuck at the port in Kolkata lately,” Munakarmi added.

The Details: 

  • According to Munakarmi, 25 percent of earthwork that is being carried out at the construction site has been completed. The construction company aims to finish 80 percent of the earthwork by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017/18 in addition to the construction of the terminal building and what remains of the sewage and waterway facility. Twenty-one heavy mechanical equipment has now been delivered to the construction site of the Pokhara Regional International Airport by the construction company China CAMC.
  • Due to ground rigidity, it has taken much more time than expected to level it, according to Munakarmi.
  • According to project officials, “Due to the irregular land formation in the airport construction site, excavators and dozers have been used to level the construction site for the runway. Once the earthwork is completed, placements for the waterway, runway, taxiway, and terminal will be determined.” They estimated that the framework of the airport would be complete by May 2019.

The backstory:

  • The land acquisition process for the airport began around 4 decades ago. A total of 521 ropani of land has been added to the existing 3106 ropani of the airport.
  • The time period set for the completion of the project is until July 2021.
  • The project is estimated to cost around Rs. 22 billion.
  • An agreement between the government of Nepal and Chinese funding agency Export-Import Bank (EXIM) has been done for the bank to provide a subsidized loan for the project, with a ‘grace period’ of 7 years. The loan must be paid back within 13 years.
  • According to officials, an agreement was made allowing Nepal to pay the debt in 26 installments within 13 years.

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