Kaski, December 29: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai has directed completion of the under-construction Pokhara International Regional Airport within the deadline. Assuring the affected locals for compensation, he said, “A glide path will be constructed and for it, 104 ropani of lands will be required, for which compensation will be provided.”
The minister was inspecting the under-construction airport on Saturday (Dec 28). On the occasion, the project chief Binesh Kumar Munakarmi informed that 54 percent of project work has been over so far, he claimed, it would be completed six months before the deadline. Started from 11 July 2017, the project deadline is July 10, 2021. Flights would be tested after completing all construction work on December 2020, and commercial flights would start from July 2021, said Munakarmi.
Construction of the runway has been over, some managerial works of the terminal building remains, and constructions of a hanger, an ATC complex building, an ATC control tower and airport entrance are underway, he said. In 2014, the Civil Aviation Authority and China’s CMC Engineering Company reached an agreement to construct the project at the cost of Rs 22 billion. Meanwhile, Minister Bhattarai stressed the need to develop Ratna Temple and Himagriha as a tourist destination by opening them to visitors.
“The area should be developed as a tourist destination rather than leasing the lands of Ratna Temple and Himagriha. This would additionally develop Pokhara’s tourism,” he said at the 21st edition street festival organized in Pokhara by the Restaurant and Bar Association Nepal, Pokhara.