Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Dec 31:
Odisha government strongly opposed theUunion government’s draft Civil Aviation Policy that talks of creating only six international hubs in the country.
Speaking at a conference chaired by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju in Vigyan Bhavan of New Delhi yesterday, Odisha Culture and Tourism Minister Ashok Panda opposed the Civil Aviation Ministry’s proposal to limit international hubs to only six metros and said such a policy would work against the interests of the state.
Panda argued that the Union government is damaging the prospects of Odisha by limiting the hubs to only 6 metros as Bhubaneswar needs international arrivals to attract tourists to the state and requested the Union minister to add Bhubaneswar to the list of hubs.
“Odisha needs international air connectivity to promote tourism in tribal areas and showcase its rich Buddhist heritage and biodiversity. Hence, it is important to make Bhubaneswar an international hub,” said minister Panda.
Responding to his concern, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Verma assured that the demands of Odisha will not be ignored.
It may be noted that, as per the new policy six international airports such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad will be developed as international hubs. Even though Bhubaneswar has been recognized as an international airport and a gazette notification has already been issued by Union government, it has been dropped from the list of hubs.