Locals oppose Bharatpur Airport’s move to demolish tall structures

Concerned over the risks posed by tall houses and other buildings, Bharatpur Airport is gearing up to demolish such illegally constructed physical structures near the airport area. 

The decision has already touched a nerve among locals who marched on Chitwan District Administration Office (DAO) on Tuesday to oppose any plan aimed at demolishing their homes.

The airport office had submitted a report to the DAO regarding the legality of the buildings. The report, which was prepared by a committee formed by the airport office, clearly states that there are total of 244 permanent and 13 temporary physical structures, including people´s houses, built against the law.

The final draft of the report was submitted on May 25. 

“In order to establish a safer airport zone, all these illegally constructed houses should be brought down without further delay. They should have thought about the consequences before building such structures,” said Chief of Bharatpur Airport Office Bacchuram Shrestha. 

Government regulation prohibits construction of houses within 14 kilometers of the runway. However, locals are free to build physical structures at a distance of 15 kilometers or more of the runaway. 

“The risk of plane crash will always remain if these houses are left to stand,” said an engineer at the airport, Pradeep Adhikari. Although the law clearly bans construction of two storey houses near the airport area, such homes are ubiquitous in the area. 

Concerned authorities have said that they are firm on their decision of forcing the owners to bring down the size of their buildings or demolish them altogether. Talking to Republica, the committee members said local administration, the municipality office and the airport office would make a joint effort to demolish all the illegally erected houses. 

Meanwhile, some locals have blamed the municipality office for allowing them to build taller homes in the first place. “Both the municipality and the airport had raised no objection while granting us the permit to construct homes. So, why are they coming after us now?” said a local Shyam Kumar Giri

Source: Republica