Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to fast track the development of a new airport in Malkangiri. The target is to make the airport in Malkangiri operational in two years, government sources said here Tuesday. The airport in Malkangiri, which is the farthest from state capital Bhubaneswar, will boost the quality of health and education services in the district, informed Chief Secretary Surech Chandra Mahapatra. “The airport will enhance the economic and commercial activities in Malkangiri district,” Mahapatra informed.
The chief secretary reviewed the progress of the construction of the new airport at a virtual meeting from state secretariat Loka Seba Bhavan, according to a release Tuesday. Mahapatra has instructed the Works Department to operationalise the airport by January 2024 in the first phase. Then the airport would be extended for bigger flights as the demand grows.
Mahapatra directed officials to clear the obstacles for laying an airstrip of 800-1,000 metres, finish a detailed project report and issue a tender.
Principal Secretary, Commerce and Transport Department, Bishnupada Sethi said the Malkangiri airport could be developed as a Category IIB airport.
The administrative approval has also been accorded for the project, estimated at around Rs 29 crore. It would involve 233 acres of government, private and forest land. The land acquisition is over and setting up of concrete posts with barbed-wire fencing has been completed.
The obstacle limitation surface survey was completed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Around 54 families who needed to be shifted were included under the rural housing schemes and its construction has been done.
The chief secretary asked the Rural Development and the Panchayati Raj departments to hand over two roads to the Works Department, which would strengthen those on the basis of the required specifications. He also directed the Tata Power Southern Odisha Distribution Ltd to shift the existing electrical lines by June.