Heavy equipments being used for the construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport in Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City, on Monday, November 13, 2017. Photo: Bharat Koirala

POKHARA:  With the upcoming polls gripping the whole nation, Chinese contractors have quietly started the construction of the Pokhara Regional International Airport, as heavy equipment including dozer, excavators, loader and tipper have been used from Sunday.

Chief Engineer of the project Pradeep Adhikari inaugurated the construction works after the Chinese contractors performed their rituals.

Gerry Yang, Nepal representatives of the China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd, Asia-Pacific Division No 1 Engineering Department Chief, informed that more than 3 dozens labourers and over a dozen heavy equipment have been moblised for the construction in the first phase.

He also said that most of the labourers are Nepalis.

Yang shared that they have targeted to flatten the ground during this winter. Earlier, Yang and his team returned to Pokhara, after Nepal finalised the loan agreement with the Chinese government, in July.

“Nepal government has still some procedure to complete. For the construction of the infrastructure, we have started to flatten the ground,” Yang shared.

Site Manager Zhan Feng vowed to complete the project on time as the Chinese government have also granted financial aid for the project.

Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer Adhikari said distribution of compensation for the land acquisition have been completed so far.

Earlier, the Panchyat regime had acquired 3150 ropanis of land for the construction of the airport.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal had initiated the project after being elected as PM after the first Constituent Assembly, ever-since, every governments have given top priority to one of nation’s pride project.

Former PM KP Sharma Oli during his visit to China had signed an MoU of loan agreement for the project with the Chinese government. On April 13, 2016, along with top leaders, erstwhile PM KP Sharma Oli laid a foundation stone of the project.

The Government of Nepal have already signed and agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority after the Chinese government agreed to provide Rs 22 billion loan for the project.

Earlier, PM Sushil Koirala had agreed to contract this project to China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd. The project is contracted on EPC Model.

Gerry Yang, Nepal representatives of the China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd, Asia-Pacific Division No 1 Engineering Department Chief, during his meeting with Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Jitendra Narayan Das had vowed to complete the project by July 10, 2021.

–  By Bharat Koirala for THT

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