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Tribune Exclusive
Chandigarh airport can take off now
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Things have finally fallen in place for the start of construction of the Chandigarh International Airport with the Punjab government today receiving Rs 230.43 crore from Haryana as part of the latter’s share towards land acquisition for the project.

In another related development, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has given sanction for the construction of the boundary wall of the airport, which will cover an area of 306 acres. According to the letter received from the AAI, the construction will start straight away after floating of tenders for the project. The AAI is likely to spend Rs 550 crore on the construction of various facilities, including the main terminal, at the airport.

The process of the formation of a Joint Venture Company (JVC), which was earlier coming in the way of receipt of payment from Haryana by Punjab, is also likely to be expedited with PricewaterhouseCoopers set to present a final draft of the proposed JVC to the tripartite committee consisting of members from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh next week. The consultants had given their first presentation on the likely shape of the JVC to the committee around 10 days back.

Punjab civil aviation secretary Visvajit Khanna confirmed that a cheque for Rs 230.43 crore had been received from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on behalf of Haryana.

This represents Haryana’s 50 per cent share in the Rs 460 crore odd spent by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GAMADA) to acquire land for the project at Mohali on behalf of Punjab.

Earlier the airport project had hit a roadblock for a few months due to an ambiguity as how Punjab should be compensated for acquiring land for the project by Haryana. Even though the Punjab government presented a bill to Haryana to make an immediate payment, the latter expressed its inability to pay any money to Punjab till a JVC was signed between the three partners - Punjab, Haryana and the AAI. The issue, however, was resolved following meetings of all three partners that led to the formation of a tripartite committee. Haryana agreed to pay up its share in anticipation of the formation of the JVC.

A MoU for upgrading the present airport to an international level was signed on April 4 this year. According to the MoU, the AAI would have 51 per cent equity in the project and Punjab and Haryana would equally share remaining 49 per cent equity.



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