Planes taking off and landing at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) continue to face flight safety risk, as buildings around the runway, which were during a study last month found to be too tall, are yet to be demolished.
Last month, a field survey conducted by a joint technical team of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) had found six residential buildings in Koteshwor, southwest of the TIA, were projecting through the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS). OLS are a series of surfaces that set the height limits of object around an aerodrome. Objects that project through the OLS become obstacles.
The owners of these buildings were asked to demolish upper parts of their structures, as they were penetrating the OLS. The buildings are about 300 metres from where the runway begins. Up to 17-metre high buildings (less than six storeys) are permitted in the area.
The buildings themselves are not tall but the structures that have been added, like platforms for water tank and other purposes, project through OLS.
According to Basanta Acharya, chief of KMC’s Law Division, the owners of these buildings were on December 27 directed to demolish the structures “within 10 days”. But when the KMC inspected the buildings on Tuesday, it found that none had complied with its directives.
Out of six buildings, three have started demolishing upper parts while the rest are yet to start pulling down the structures that penetrate OLS, said Bir Bahadur Khadka, an engineer at KMC’s Urban Development Department.
Amid concerns raised by international airlines, the Caan in its report had said the six buildings were threatening air safety and recommended that they be brought down. Particularly, international airlines flying wide-body aircraft are forced to cut their passenger numbers and load due to the obstacles created by the high-rise structures in the single approach area.
During the inspection on Tuesday, Shantalal Shahi, Dipak Parajuli and Binda Faiju were found to have started demolishing structures while Ram Prasad Shrestha, Madhav Dhakal and Bhojraj Lamichhane had failed to comply with the directives.
Buildings belonging to Shrestha and Dhakal are taller by one storey than permitted, while structures on the roofs of buildings of Parajuli and Faiju were built illegally, said Khadka. The house owners have been told to pull down the illegally built structures on their own, but the KMC itself has to act if they fail to abide by the directives, said Acharya. Khadka said that the problems had arisen after the owners added structures illegally, against the permission given by the metropolis. Four other buildings in the area have been found to be on “the critical zone”, implying that no further structure can be added to them.
Amid concerns raised by international airlines, Caan in its report had said that six buildings in Koteshwor were threatening air safety and recommended that they be brought down.
Source: The Kathmandu Post