New Delhi: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs Prasanna Acharya and Sasmit Patra, Wednesday, sought Union Civil Aviation Ministry’s response over the construction of new international airport in the state and direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Dubai.
While speaking during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Sasmit Patra asked Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri regarding the commencement of direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai and also direct flights to Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
“I would urge the minister to start direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Indonesia as Odisha shares long maritime history with these countries. Direct flights to these countries will lead to a boost in religious tourism due to the rich Buddhist heritage of Odisha,” said Sasmit Patra adding that people of the state have been demanding direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Dubai.
Responding to the question posed by the BJD MP, the Union Minister said that the operations of flights between two destinations are largely dependent upon the service carriers.
“These prerogatives lie with the service carriers. I would suggest the state government to approach the air operators through the Union government,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister.
Significantly, Prasanna Acharya asked the Union minister about the time-frame when the Jharsuguda airport will become a full-fledged airport.
“Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Jharsuguda airport in Odisha. But that airport has not been functioning properly. Sometimes flights of that airport are being diverted to either Bhubaneswar or Kolkata. This has been causing huge problems to the people of the state,” said Acharya.
The Union Minister said that the Jharsuguda airport is a full-fledged airport, however, certain infrastructure is required to improve it.
Giving his response on the new international airport in the state, the Minister said that availability of land is awaited from the state government. He further said that three sites were provided by the state government but they are not feasible for construction of the airport.