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Jalandhar

Posted at: Jul 8, 2015, 1:20 AM; last updated: Jul 8, 2015, 12:41 AM (IST)

Clamour grows for domestic airport at Adampur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 7

Even as Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal today claimed that that Union Defence Minister Manohar Parikar had assured to provide commercial status to defence airport at Adampur, the clamour for the demand has grown in the Doaba region.

Member of Parliament Jalandhar Santokh Singh Chaudhary had on Friday last met the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapati Raju Pusapati at New Delhi. Chaudhary, in a press note, had stated that he had apprised the minister that Doaba area of Punjab comprising of four districts Jalandhar, Nawanshahar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur is known as NRI hub which holds maximum number of NRIs from Punjab.

“There is no domestic airport situated in this area to make their visit convenient. Moreover, Jalandhar city is an industrial hub where various industries such as hand tools, sports, leather, valves and cocks, steel and iron are situated and their products are exported to various countries. The business class has to travel aboard and to various cities in India for their business needs and often precious time is lost in the absence of air connectivity. Similarly international buyers also tend to prefer other cities for purchase, due to easy connectivity by air,” he had started pushing the case forward.

“Besides, Jalandhar is a medical hub and NRIs from various countries come here for their treatment/operation with regard to heart ailments, eyes, orthopedic operations, diabetes, depression treatment as these medical facilities are cheaper and affordable here,” he had further made a point.

The Jalandhar MP has also been emphasising, “Himachal Pradesh is also adjacent to Hoshiarpur. Various holy shrines such as Vaishno Devi, Chintpurni, Jawalaji are situated in Himachal Pradesh. A domestic airport at Adampur will save time and will be convenient for the pilgrims coming from across the country and abroad while visiting these shrines.”

During the previous Congress government, land at Jalandhar- Kapurthala road was proposed for the airport. However, the present state government shelved the project and turned the place into a Science city. The previous UPA government at Centre had planned to make the facilities of domestic flights available from Adampur Air Force station similar to Air Force stations like Srinagar and Chandigarh, which operate domestic airline services.

Former minister and Jalandhar Central MLA Manoranjan Kalia too has made a point on similar lines in his recent FB post, “The people of Doaba, who in large numbers have gone abroad to earn their livelihood, have always demanded for an international or domestic airport in Doaba. As now once again the industrialists, traders and frequent travellers have demanded for a domestic airport in Doaba area. They have made various representations and have been submitting memoranda to the Union government since three decades to get the proposal of domestic or international airport cleared. Keeping in demands of the people of Doaba , I will certainly send proposal to the Union Minister for Defence to allow Adampur Air Force Station for domestic flights to various destinations keeping in mind to fulfil the demand and necessity of the people of Doaba residing in India or abroad.”

Raising the demand for a domestic airport in Doaba region, the Doaba Airport Welfare Association (DAWA), an association featuring the top industrialists, intellectuals, thinkers and prominent socialites of the region, has already given a representation to MP and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla.

Chairman of the association, SV Hans of Zoloto Industries, JK Gupta of ANR Motors, Ashwani Kumar of Victor Forgings, Narinder S Maingi of HB Group of Industries, Charanjit Singh Channi of CT Institutes, Anil Chopra of St Soldier Group, Ramesh Mittal of Lovely Group, Balram Kapoor of JMP Group and Nitin Kohli of Tracer group have already held two meetings on the issue.

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