Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has put the onus of the pace of development of the proposal of a Greenfield International Airport near Bhubaneswar to the state government due to the non availability of land.
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP for Rajya Sabha Sasmit Patra recently had raked up the issue of the proposal and had sought information from the ministry on the progress of the proposal and the budgetary allocation planned for the parallel international airport for the state capital.
In a written reply tabled before the Upper House, the Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri told the Rajya Sabha that they are awaiting a response from the state government on the matter of availability of land for the project.
In his response to the House he said, “The Odisha government has informed that there is a proposal for construction of a new Greenfield International Airport near Bhubaneswar (Khurda). On the request of the state government of Odisha, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has conducted a pre-feasibility study at three locations near Khurda, Odisha but all the three suggested sites were not found suitable.”
He also added, “AAI has asked the state government to identify a suitable site for a Greenfield Airport near Bhubaneswar. The state government is however yet to finalize the details of the land requirement.”
Patra earlier has asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation if the ministry has been considering constructing a new international airport near Bhubaneswar and if so what was the status of the project. The BJD MP also asked how much of the budgetary allocation has been made towards this project and by when the project is slated to be completed.
The AAI teams had earlier examined three sites within 20-25 kms radius of the state capital. The need of another international airport in the area has arose due to the increased number of traffic with the lone Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in the state.
Keeping in view another way to create alternative to cater to the surged crowd seeking air services the state government and the AAI tried to explore other options to build a new airport. The plan was to have an area of around 2000 acres to facilitate the new airport.
The reasons behind the need of a new airport also arose due to the fact that the city airport runway could not be expanded beyond certain limits due to some restrictions on the ground. With the response given by the ministry it has become clear that the next move towards this could be possible only after it gets information about availability of a land which can cater to the requirements of opening of another international airport.