March 27, Kathmandu: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi handed over the Pokhara International Airport to Nepal. Even if the airport is handed over, there will be no immediate international flight.
The Pokhara airport is being constructed with a total loan of Rs 21.45 billion, including 75 percent from the Chinese Exim Bank and 25 percent from the Chinese government. Chinese government’s loan is interest-free, Exim Bank loan is on two percent interest.
According to NEA officials, the construction of the airport was done by a Chinese government-owned company and handed over to the Chinese Foreign Minister during his visit to Nepal.
There is still work to be done
The physical progress of the construction of the airport has exceeded 93 percent. Structure and equipment connection work has been completed. A 2500 meter long runway has been constructed. According to the information provided by the project, structures including terminal buildings have been constructed.
Finishing work is also underway. Rithepani hill in the northeastern part of the airport remains to be cut. The environmental study report for cutting hill is being evaluated by the Ministry of Forest and Environment.NEA officials say that it may be passed this week. It is estimated that it will take at least three months to clear the hill. Then the calibration flight path will open.
Similarly, the landfill site of Pokhara Metropolitan City near the airport does not meet the criteria of an international airport.