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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Berhampur/Jeypore, Jun 24:

A three-member central team today visited Rangeilunda and Jeypore airstrips in Odisha to carry out a study on proposed expansion.

Pic Courtesy: http:www.dnaindia.com
Pic Courtesy: www.dnaindia.com

In the first phase, the team surveyed the canal land and the land near Army College for the expansion of Rangeilunda airstrip located near Berhampur.

“We have a plan to extend this airstrip. The plan of this project has also been approved by the expenditure committee. Today, we are here to see how soon we can initiate the land acquisition that is needed for this extension,” said Special Secretary of GA Department Ashok Kumar Meena.

“The government has decided to extend the length of four airstrips to 5000 ft in the first phase. Berhampur is one of them. Jeypore, Padampur and Balasore will follow,” said SP Mohapatra, a senior official of Central Government who was part of the visiting team.

It may be noted that the Ganjam forum and various other civil society organisations have been demanding an expansion of the Rangeilunda airstrip and its operationalization since long.

However, things started rolling only recently after Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on his June 14 tour of the town said that Central Government will consider operationalizing Rangeilunda airstrip, if Odisha government submits a proposal.

Later in the day, the team also visited the Jeypore airstrip and surveyed the surroundings for the proposed extension there.