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Nepal Seeks Detailed Proposal From Zurich For Nijgadh International Airport

KATHMANDU: Nepal government has sought extensive proposal from the Zurich Airport International AG to construct the Nijgadh International Airport (NIA), the second international airport, in Bara district.
Issuing a public notice on Friday, Investment Board Nepal (IBN) asked the Swiss company to submit the extensive project proposal within 45 days for the construction and operation of the NIA.
A meeting of Investment Board Nepal (IBN) chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on September 19 had shortlisted the company to construct the NIA and decided to seek extensive proposal from it.
The IBN will study the proposal, and if the board finds the proposal suitable, final agreement will be inked with the company to construct the mega airport.
Of the seven domestic and international firms that showed interest in the project, the Swiss company was the only firm that had submitted expression of interest (EoI) for the airport project as per the criteria set by the government.
As a result, the government had shortlisted Zurich for developing the NIA project in the public-private-partnership (PPP) modality.
During the Investment Summit held in March 2019, the IBN proposed the construction of NIA as a showcase project. At the time, the IBN had presented NIA as mega project with estimated cost of 3 billion US Dollar.
As per the criteria and standards set by the government, a firm can be permitted to build the airport, operate it and transfer to the government.

The airport will spread in around 80 square kilometers of land in Nijgadh of Bara district.
Lately, the project has drawn wide concern of the public after the media reported that almost 2.4 million trees needed to be cleared for the airport.
However, Nepal Civil Aviation Authority has been claiming that not more than 150,000 trees would be cut down.
Following the growing pressure on the Tribhuvan International Airport, the project of Nijgadh International Airport was forwarded as the second international airport about three decades ago.
The NIA will have two runways and will provide service to 20 million passengers annually, said the Authority.
Lately, the TIA has been serving 7 million people annually.

Published Date: Friday, January 17th, 2020 | 09:45 PM

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