08/19/2019, 17.02
NEPAL
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Environmentalists protest against new Kathmandu airport that puts at risk 2.4 million trees

The new airfield, which comes with a US$ 3.5 billion price tag, would be built 80 km south of the capital. Activists complain the project would drive 500 families out of their homes. Nepal has only one international airport that sometimes shuts down during the monsoon season.

 

Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – About a hundred environmentalists gathered this morning in the Nepali capital to protest against the construction of a new airport in the south of the country.

Activists complain that the new airstrip will lead to the cutting of 2.4 million trees, not to mention the forced expulsion of at least 500 families from their villages.

The planned airport is supposed to be built in Nijgadh, 80 km south of the capital Kathmandu, for about US$ 3.5 billion dollars.

The protesters carried banners and flags in front of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and the Department of Forests, calling for the plan be scrapped.

They note that that project would be a disaster for the environment because it would destroy forests that are the habitat for wild animals.

"We are demanding the government immediately stop the plans to cut down the trees and destroy the environment of the region to build this airport," said Sunil Yadav, a demonstrator who travelled from his home in southern Nepal for the protest.

Nepal has only one international airport near in the capital, but during bad weather in winter and the rainy season, international flights to Nepal are sometimes diverted to other countries.

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