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IBN asks Zürich Airport to submit NIA proposal

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January 17- The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has asked Switzerland-based Zürich Airport International AG to submit a proposal for the construction and operation of Nijgadh International Airport. Issuing a notice today the IBN has asked the shortlisted company to submit the proposal within 45 days from the date of publication of the notice.

As the government has decided to build and operate NIA as per public-private partnership model, IBN shortlisted the Zürich Airport on September 23 last year to construct the NIA. Out of the other domestic and international firms, Zürich Airport was the only firm that had submitted expression of interest (EoI) for the airport project based on the criteria and standards set by the government.

The other firms to submit the construction proposal of the project included Matrix Enterprises of Nepal, China Airport Construction Group and China State Construction Engineering Company from China, GMR of India, Qatar Airways and Vinci Group of France.

The estimated cost of the project stands at Rs 340 billion ($3 billion). As per the board, the airport will be built in three phases — with the cost of the first phase at $1.21 billion, the second phase at $1.12 billion, and the third phase at $1.12 billion.

The notice further mentioned that the pre-bid conference will be held on February 16.

Meanwhile, on the same day the government has a hearing at the Supreme Court. The SC continued its interim order on December 22 directing the government to halt ongoing construction works at NIA and not to cut any trees at the moment.

“The SC wants a clearer picture on the construction modality that we had submitted to the apex court.

Hopefully we will receive a go-ahead for site clearance from the court soon,” said Rajan Pokhrel, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. As per him, works at the grassroots level, such as compensation distribution and resettlement are in the final phase. The airport construction will commence very soon, he added.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has also requested the Ministry of Forests and Environment to allow it to fell trees on 1,900 hectares of land for site clearance.

However the forest ministry is still having a discussion on the issue, Pokhrel added.

(Source- The Himalayan Times)

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