Bhattarai on onsite monitoring of Gautam Buddha Airport construction progress in Dashain

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Kathmandu: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai remained busy in Bhairahawa and surrounding areas throughout the day Monday to take stock of the projects under his ministry.

At a time when the whole country is busy in celebrating the Bada Dashain festival, the biggest festival of the Nepalis, Minister Bhattarai however chose to make an on-site inspection of the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa and the International Buddhist Conference and Meditation Hall in Lumbini.

The government has declared 2020 as the Visit Nepal Year with the goal of attracting two million tourists. The government’s goal is to complete the construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport, a national pride project, as soon as possible.

The Minister for Culture and Civil Aviation was accompanied by a team of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), including Director General Rajan Pokharel and engineer Pradeep Adhikari.

The construction works on the airport are underway even amidst the Dashain holidays like the normal days. The Gautam Buddha International Airport is being constructed as an alternative to the Tribhuvan International Airport, the only international airport in the country, as it is narrow to handle the growing international flights.

As per the previous schedule, the aim was to complete the airport construction within October 17. But the deadline had to be extended to some extent. The airport is being built taking into consideration the tourists coming to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. The airport is near to Lumbini.

The physical progress of the airport was around 80 per cent as per the report presented in the 46th meeting of the National Problems Resolution Committee on September 22. This project would be among the first projects to be completed among the national pride projects if works are completed on time.

The Ministry aims to complete the construction of this airport within January 14, 2020. Works are taking place with this aim.