The Pokhara Regional International Airport Project has completed sixty percent of construction works when one year is left for the deadline. The China-based CAMC Engineering Company owns the contract to implement the project falling into the national pride project and it has been given a deadline to complete the project within July 10, 2021. The total project cost is Rs 22 billion.
The construction had begun three years back and to date constructions of 14 several buildings (towards civil) including runway, internal and external terminal buildings, and air traffic control towers have been completed. The overall physical progress so far is around 60 percent, according to project chief Binesh Munkarmi. Presently, finishing of terminal buildings, cementing of the main entrance, construction of an approach route to buildings, cementing of the car parking lot, and construction of isolated parking are underway.
The construction works by Nepali and Chinese workers go on amidst the adverse time caused by the COVID-19 crisis. ”Though we are not able to carry out works in a full swing, we at least could continue the project implementation even during the lockdown,” he said. It is said 100 Nepali workers and 250 Chinese are working for the project on a daily basis. Before the lockdown, 500 workers were hired for the project.
However, some Chinese workers who went home to celebrate the English New Year 2020 could not return due to the coronavirus which had its partial impact on the project progress for six months. Earlier, there was a target to start a test flight before six months of the schedule. It is expected to complete with the revised deadline as almost all works towards the civil category have been completed. The China CAMC Engineering company was contracted for the project in May 2014.
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Then, the construction work of the airport started in July 2017. The construction materials stranded at Kolkata port have arrived recently. Similarly, some construction materials and workers are stranded at Keyrong border point. The authority has shared that the halted construction bid would resume soon. Munakarmi shared that they were consulting the line ministry to resume the works and bring in the skilled workers.
He added that some of the works could only be conducted by Chinese manpower therefore they have to wait for them. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the project contractor was working out to complete it in six months ahead of schedule.