Finally, IAF begins balance work on upcoming international airport at Halwara : The Tribune India

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Finally, IAF begins balance work on upcoming international airport at Halwara

After missing 11 deadlines, airport to get wings by month end

Finally, IAF begins balance work on upcoming international airport at Halwara


Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8

Finally, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun the balance work in the area under its jurisdiction to give wings to the upcoming international airport at Halwara in Ludhiana, the government has said.

The IAF has fixed July 31 as the deadline to complete the job following which Rs 47-crore much-awaited and much-delayed big ticket project would see the light of the day, but not before missing 11 deadlines in the past almost two-and-a-half-years.

This was made possible after the Union Government had in January asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the state government to ensure early completion of the new international airport.

The civil construction work has already been completed. The Indian Air Force, which owns the airbase on which the airport has been built, has now started the work to overlay the runway and taxiway within its premises following which the airport will become operational. —Sakshi Sawhney, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana

While the integrated civil enclave and cargo terminal building, sub-station and toilet block at the Air Force Station in Halwara, which is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the IAF, close to Ludhiana, have already come up, allied works of the major civil aviation project have also been completed.

After receiving all the pending nods, the work on all other components, stalled since long, has been finished.

Sharing details, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sakshi Sawhney told The Tribune here on Monday, “The civil construction work has already been completed but the IAF, which owns the airbase on which the airport has been built, has now started the work to overlay the runway and taxiway within the IAF premises following which the airport will become operational.”

Sakshi, who visited the project site, said a joint meeting of all the Central and state departments concerned and contractors was held recently, wherein the IAF had assured to complete the pending work under its territory by July 31.

The DC said once the IAF completed the work under its jurisdiction, the minor finishing work at the level of the state government and the AAI would be done simultaneously.

She said the state government had so far released a sum of Rs 30 crore to complete the ongoing balance work of the upcoming international airport and the demand of balance funds had already been forwarded to the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) and the Civil Aviation Department, which had been mandated to jointly bear the financial burden.

Divulging the component-wise status, Sakshi said the construction of the interim terminal building, sub-station, and toilet block had been completed. “All these three components of the new airport are being given the finishing touches before handing them over to the AAI,” she said.

“The components of balance works, including apron has been completed 80 per cent, taxiway 80 per cent, and the internal roads, lighting and public health works have touched the 90 per cent mark,” the DC said.

“While the upcoming approach road to the airport premises and the work on the bridge at the entry of approach road have been completed 85 per cent each, 30 per cent of the allied works inside the IAF base have also been completed so far,” the DC said. “All the pending jobs are scheduled to be finished by the month end,” the DC said, while clarifying that the IAF’s job would give wings to the new airport. Recently, the AAI and the IAF had granted in-principle approvals to undertake the balance work at the upcoming international airport.

Since the new integrated civil enclave and cargo terminal are coming up at Air Force Station in Halwara, the formal nod of the IAF is mandatory to undertake the work inside the Air Force-governed areas.

With this, all the pending approvals for the mega civil aviation project have been granted and the work to undertake the balance tasks has started on the ground level. Following delay in these approvals, several components of the project remained suspended for a long time and got much delayed.

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