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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 1:12 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 1:12 AM (IST)

Residents pitch for inclusion of city airport in UDAN-III scheme

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 12

City residents have demanded inclusion of Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in the ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’ (UDAN-III) scheme. The Union Government has unveiled the UDAN-III scheme to promote the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) as it aims to specifically boost regional connectivity along with making air travel affordable for common man.

Sameep Singh Gumtala, an NRI, said, “Airports, including those in Chandigarh, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Pathankot and Adampur, have been operationalised under the UDAN-I and the UDAN-II phases with connectivity of these airports with cities, like Shimla, Jammu, Kullu, Dharamsala and New Delhi.”

He pointed out that the Amritsar airport did not figure on the list anywhere on either of the two phases where the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had awarded 325 routes in UDAN phase-II scheme. “It is disheartening that despite achieving top rank in terms of passenger percentage growth for 2017-18 amongst all international airports in the country, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has ignored Amritsar,” he added.

Yogesh Kamra, a city resident, said the holy city was visited by more than 1.5 lakh tourists everyday and over 2.5 lakh on weekends. “There is a growing aspiration for air travel to Amritsar from tourists. Both the state and the Central governments should take steps to make the holy city a self-sustainable tourism destination through such schemes proactively,” he commented. Being one the top-rated tourism destinations of the world, the city cannot afford to miss the upcoming phase-III of UDAN scheme, he added.

Yogesh said the Amritsar airport not only needed a boost to its regional connectivity but also deserved to be made a preferred airport for new domestic and international flights for North India after Delhi. He said airline operators should look beyond Delhi and Mumbai and connect Amritsar airport to unserved cities with good demand like Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Goa, Patna, Hyderabad, Nagpur etc.


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