Bhubaneswar: Overseas Odias living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who have spearheaded an International movement to ensure regular air connectivity to the newly opened Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda, have stepped up their efforts in this direction. Today, the Non Resident Odias (NRO) met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here and presented a memorandum in this regard.
The NROs living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had celebrated the opening of the airport in front of Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the World). Since its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22, erratic operations from the airport by airline ‘Air Odisha’ was a major disappointment.
The news of its closure, just about two weeks after its inauguration, has caused a lot of dismay and disappointment among all Odias. From the day of its inauguration, only 6 flights took off from the airport.
In the light of the situation, a delegation of the NROs flew down from Dubai, UAE and met the CM and emphasised on the need for the proper functioning of the airport for the overall development of the region.
The CM’s office said that the State Government has strongly recommended to the Government of India to ensure direct air connectivity to Jharsuguda airport by making the Air India flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar operate via Jharsuguda.
Official sources at the Chief Minister’s office also said that the State Government had offered to subsidise such flights so that the impetus to start such operations is provided by it.
The NROs also had a freewheeling discussion with the Chief Minister and expressed their happiness at the way Odisha has been projecting itself to the outside world. Of particular praise were the initiatives of the Odisha Government to promote Hockey, first by sponsoring the Indian Hockey Team and then by organising the forthcoming Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.