M A I N   N E W S

Punjab to promote religious tourism
Praful, Amarinder flag off A-I flight to Toronto
Ashok Sethi

Rajasansi (Amritsar), May 15
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel, today brushed aside the resentment over the stalled construction of the terminal of Sri Guru Ramdass International Airport and assured the public that a bigger and modern complex would be built.

Addressing a gathering during the flag-off ceremony of the inaugural Air-India’s Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto flight here today, Mr Patel said top priority was being given to restart the construction of the ultra-modern airport. He, however, said the project could be delayed by another six months as the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in consultation with the Airport Authority of India (AAI), was preparing a blueprint for the its upgradation.

Earlier, the flight was flagged off from New Delhi by Tourism Minister Renuka Chowdhury and Mr Patel.

He said the Air-India was prepared to make this flight operational on a daily basis instead of thrice a week at present in view of its growing demand. A direct international flight of Air-India Express, an economical flight from Amritsar to Dubai, was also on the anvil. He said the Air-India had recently launched a direct flight from Kerala to Dubai and another direct flight from Kolkata to London was likely to commence shortly.

Referring to the setting up of a green field airport at Ladowal between Ludhiana and Jalandhar, Mr Patel said the project had been cleared by the government and was in the advanced stage of implementation. It would come up on the same pattern of green field airports already set up in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Lucknow. He said Chandigarh Airport would also be upgraded to meet the growing need of the people of this area.

Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, said the government was set to chalk out a roadmap to boost religious tourism in the state.

He said the government was contemplating to develop religious tourism by connecting Sri Anandpur Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Takht Sri Damdama Sahib and Sri Harmandir Sahib. Another circuit of Hindu shrines from Naina Devi, Maisarkhana, Durgiana Temple and Vaishno Devi would also be developed in a big way.

Later Capt Amarinder Singh along with Mr Patel flagged off the flight.

Meanwhile, the General Manager (Architect) of the AAI, Mr Harpal Singh, today made the detail presentation of the new design of the Airport Complex to the Minister of Civil Aviation and visiting dignitaries.

The Director Airport, Mr V.S. Mulekar, said the minister showed keen interest in the development of the airport and said the complex would be ready within a year.

The minister was accompanied by MPs attached to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Minorities Commission, among others.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |