BHUBANESWAR: Despite all the hype by Odisha government about the proposed international airport at Puri, the Centre has clarified it is yet to receive a formal proposal in this regard from the State.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation General VK Singh said his Ministry has not received any proposal on establishment of a greenfield airport at Puri from Odisha government. However, a multi-disciplinary team from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had visited Puri in June for conducting a pre-feasibility study of the site identified by the State government for establishing the airport.
“The report of the visit by the team was sent to Odisha government on August 5. The responsibility of implementation of the airport project including obtaining necessary approvals from the Centre rests with the project proponent concerned, which is the State government. So far, no proposal in the prescribed proforma for establishment of a greenfield airport at Puri has been received by the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” he said.
Last month, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia during his visit to Jharsuguda had also maintained that the response of the Odisha government on the pre-feasibility study of the greenfield airport at Puri was awaited. “The Centre will take appropriate steps following a response from the State government,” he had told reporters.
In January, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitching for an international airport, which will be named after Lord Jagannath, at Puri. The State government had claimed to have identified 1,500 acre land on the outskirts of Puri town for the proposed airport.
In response to another query on upgradation of airport infrastructure in the State, the Minister informed that Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken construction of a parallel taxi track, apron, new control tower and technical block and other allied works at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar at an estimated cost of Rs 289.57 crore.
This apart, the Ministry has launched Regional Connectivity Scheme - UDAN to stimulate regional air connectivity and a budgetary provision of Rs 380.69 crore has been made for revival of unserved and under-served airstrips/airfields in the State.