July 29: The construction of Pokhara Regional Airport, which was affected by the lockdown imposed to curb coronavirus, has now gained momentum once again.
The construction work was halted because of difficulty in bringing in equipment from China and the delay in return of Chinese workers due to coronavirus. With the lifting of the lockdown, the construction work is taking place in war footing.
The construction company which bagged the project has expedited the work after assurance that the equipment and technicians from China will be available soon.
A total of 370 workers including 270 Chinese and 100 Nepalese have been deployed for the construction of the airport.
The project has set a target to complete the work within July 2021. Currently, the work progress is 62 percent, according to Pokhara International Airport Project Chief Binesh Munakarmi.
He said that they had been continuing work even during lockdown by adopting precautionary measures.
The airport, which is considered as one of the national pride projects, has so far seen completion of the runway, apron, taxi way, isolated parking, hangar, terminal building and access way.
According to project chief Munakarmi, they are in the final phase of completing other buildings while other works are still remaining.
“The Chinese workers who had returned home to celebrate the new year in January were stranded after confirmation of coronavirus in Wuhan of China. After the lockdown was lifted in China in March, we were able to bring 107 Chinese workers and resume the work,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior engineer Krishna Prasad Poudel informed that the construction of the runway, which is considered as the main work, was completed a year ago and now they are focusing on other infrastructural works.
Poudel added that the 2500-meter runway is the first-of-its-kind in Nepal.