Airport construction in limbo in lack of ownership of land

Construction of airport proposed to be rebuilt at Majhgaun in Kanchanpur district has not made any headway for not being able to acquire ownership of the land.

The proposed site of the Airport has Ratna Garden to its south and the Nepali Army’s barrack guarding the Shuklaphanta National Park. Unable to acquire the land for airport, the construction work is in limbo for years.

The Airport’s proposed runway is 1,525 metres in length. At present it only has 1,000 metre. Since the ownership of the additional land needed for the Airport is not in the name of the Airport at present, the construction work has been stalled, said Airport Project Chief Minraj Ojha.

Ojha added that the Nepali Army took the workers trying to work in the land owned by the Army into their control which affected the construction work.

Coordination should be made with three ministries to forward the process to get ownership of the land owned by the Army, he shared. “Land ownership related issue is under process, he informed.

Agreement was made to provide necessary piece of land owned by the Nepali Army for the construction of the Airport. Although the land is mentioned to be segregated for airport in the Nepal gazette, the land ownership certificate still belongs to the Nepali Army.

A member of House of Representatives elected from Kanchanpur-3 Ramesh Lekhak shared that efforts were underway to take forward Airport construction works. “Land acquisition certainly process delayed the construction works but it will be resolved soon,” he assured.

Airport Reconstruction Struggle Committee management coordinator Karan Pal spoke of the need to operate the Airport at the earliest. Bhimdutta Municipality will have 15 per cent, Dodhara Chandani Municiality 30 per cent, Sudurpaschim Government 25 per cent and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal’s 50 per cent for the construction of the Airport.

Contract worth Rs 456.6 has been awarded to Kancharam-KS-Uma and Company to build the Airport within three years.

The Airport was in operation from 2034 BS to 2057 BS and was shut down during emergency period showing security concerns. (RSS)