Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rourkela, Mar 5:
Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today inaugurated Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s 100th Aviation Fuel Station (AFS) in Odisha’s Steel City at a function organized here.
“I am fortunate enough to inaugurate the facility in Rourkela on a day when Odisha is celebrating the birth centenary of legendary leader Biju Patnaik. The tall leader had close ties with the city and the Rourkela AFS would contribute to the economic development of Rourkela and the entire region,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said: “Indigenously developed AFS is in line with the Make In India initiative by the Government of India. Rourkela AFS will contribute immensely towards the development of the state, particularly Western Odisha. This facility will serve the backward areas by connecting them to the mainstream. This is in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.”
Notably, the AFS set up by India’s downstream petroleum refining and marketing major IOCL is the second station after Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, aircraft operating through Rourkela, were being refueled from nearby airports like Ranchi (225 km), Jamshedpur (303 km), Bhubaneswar (320 km), Raipur (450 km), Nagpur (602 km) or Gaya (419 km). With the inauguration of the Rourkela AFS, these aircraft can now be refueled at Rourkela paving the path for more aircraft to operate and refuel at Rourkela.
The Union PNG minister thanked Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Roukela MLA Dilip Kumar Ray for their contribution towards setting up of the AFS.
“IndianOil has ushered in a new impetus to the economic development of this entire region through the inauguration of the Paradeep Refinery. Similarly, the Rourkela AFS would start contributing to the economic development of Rourkela and the entire region. This particular AFS has been installed at one fifth of the cost of a full-fledged AFS. It will encourage other commercial aircraft to refuel and operate from Rourkela thus making it a new commercial hub in eastern India,” B S Canth, Director (Marketing) Indian Oil Corporation Limited said.
Among others, Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Railways), B.S. Canth Director (Marketing), T.S. Khwaja, Executive Director (Aviation), Gautam Bose, Executive Director (RS), Eastern Region from IndianOil were present on the occasion.