New Delhi: In a significant decision on the longstanding demand of the state, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday approved renaming of Jharsuguda airport after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai.
An official statement from Cabinet said, “Veer Surendra Sai is a well-known freedom fighter of Odisha. Renaming of the Jharsuguda airport in his name will fulfill long-pending demand of the Odisha Government, which reflects the sentiments of the local public of the respective area.”
The statement further said rechristening the airport will be a befitting tribute to the contribution of the revered personality associated with the state.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Prime Minister earlier reiterating the state’s demand to rename Jharsuguda airport as Veer Surendra Sai airport. He has also urged Modi to direct the civil aviation ministry to ensure regular flights from Jharsuguda airport.
“I may bring to your kind notice that Air Odisha has suspended its flight operations from Jharsuguda after October 6, 2018 without any valid reason. The abrupt suspension of the existing operations has given a severe jolt to the aviation sector in the state and has also hurt the sentiments of the people of western Odisha,” he wrote to Modi Tuesday.
The airport was inaugurated by the Prime Minister September 22. It’s the second airport in the state after Bhubaneswar.
The airport has been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in collaboration with Odisha government at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crore, with Rs 75 crore contribution from the state.
Spread across over 1,027.5 acres of land with a 2,390-metre long runway, the area of terminal building of the airport is 4,000 square metres.