Under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport. (File photo/RSS)
KATHMANDU: The under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa will not be operational before next March.
The deadline for the construction of the much-talked-about airport has been extended till December 2020.
Earlier, the target was to complete the construction by March 31, 2020, and bring the airport into operation within three months. Accordingly, the airport was to come into operation by mid-July.
The project started in 2015 and was expected to be completed in December 2017. As the construction could not be completed within that deadline, it was targeted to be completed on March 31, 2020, as per the revised schedule. Since the construction was not completed even at that time, the deadline has been extended yet again.
However, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said that works could not be completed due to the lockdown enforced to stem the spread of coronavirus.
He said that the project could not be completed on time as the manpower required for the construction of the airport was abroad.
“Some technicians are in Japan, some in China, the United States and the United Kingdom. They could not come due to COVID-19 and the work could not be completed on time,” said Minister Bhattarai.
About 95 percent of the work has been completed at Gautam Buddha International Airport. Minister Bhattarai also said that the work has been facilitated by requesting the contractor to continue the work even during the lockdown.
The total cost of the project is over Rs 30 billion.