Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jharsuguda/ Bhubaneswar, Apr 22:
The upgradation of the Jharsuguda airport in Odisha began today with the first phase construction work of a boundary wall of the airport which was inaugurated by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) chairman RK Srivastava.
“We have started the first phase construction of the boundary wall on the land provided by the state government. As decided, we would invite tender for construction of the airstrip and airport terminal in the second phase. We need to use the land outside the terminal for commercial activity so that the airport can earn some revenue and meet its operational cost and becomes a financially viable project,” Srivastava told reporters after the inauguration.
He also said the project is viable as there as several industrial units have come up in the area.
“Considering that the nearby airports such as Ranchi and Bhubaneswar are way too far, it is important for us to provide air connectivity for the investors to come here. Once the airport becomes operational, we can approach the airlines for connectivity,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the AAI chairman had a meeting with senior state government officials including chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in the state capital on issues pertaining to land acquisition for the proposed airport.
“We are trying to complete the construction work of the Jharsuguda airport at the earliest. The AAI chairman was keen on sorting out issues relating to land acquisition for the the Jharsuguda airport. Our principal secretary is also accompanying the AAI chief to study the ground situation. We will provide the remaining 12 acres of land to the airport authorities for which I have asked the concerned officials to finish the pending land transfer as soon as possible,” the chief secretary said.
The AAI chairman was accompanied by the AAI member (operation) GK Chaukiyal and another Kolkata-based regional executive director.