By Our Reporter
Fate of the much-talked-about Nijgadh International Airport has become uncertain after an interim order of the Supreme Court to halt all the ongoing work, including felling of trees, at the construction site.
The apex court issued the directive in response to a writ petition filed by Dwarikanath Dhungel, former secretary of Nijgadh Forest Preservation Committee, and Senior Advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari, and eight others.
Federal Cabinet, Cabinet of Province 2, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Province 2 were made the defendants in the writ.
The SC directed the government to immediately stop felling trees at the construction site and halt all the work that was under way at the construction site.
The petitioners have stated that millions of trees will have to be felled to construct the airport.
The SC order came at a time when Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai was working to expedite work on the national pride project.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had said the Cabinet is preparing to take a ‘breakthrough’ decision on NIA. Prior to this, Bhattarai had also promised a breakthrough in NIA construction that has been stalled for the last 24 years.
However, the SC’s decision will put a spanner in the works of the MoCTCA, which was all set to build the second international airport in the country. NIA has also been considered as an alternative to address increasing air congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The SC has called both the parties for further discussion.