Ludhiana, June 6
Even as the construction of a new international airport in Halwara, close to Ludhiana, has touched the halfway mark, the big-ticket project is all set to miss another deadline of June 30, officials have maintained.
It will be the third deadline to be missed as the under-construction terminal building is likely to be completed not before July 31, it is learnt.
The development assumes significance as June 30 was fixed as the fresh deadline for the completion of the Rs 47-crore project after missing two deadlines of January and January 2022 in the past.
The new international airport was coming up at Air Force Station in Halwara, which is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the Indian Air Force (IAF), close to Ludhiana.
Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora told The Tribune, here on Monday that the overall progress of the mega project had reached 45 per cent mark and the state government had so far released a sum of Rs 25 crore to complete the ongoing balance work of the upcoming international airport.
Arora, who reviewed the progress of the project, said the construction of the interim terminal building had reached a 55-per cent mark, sub-station 65 per cent, and toilet block had been completed up to 70 per cent. All these three components of the new airport would be ready by July 31.
He said the balance work, which was allotted on April 13 with a time limit of completion in five months, was scheduled to be completed by September 12 but all efforts were being made to finish the job by July 31.
The components of balance works, including apron and taxiway, have been completed 20 per cent while internal roads, lighting and public health works had been done up to 30 per cent so far.
The construction work of the project was divided into two parts — construction of internal roads, estate public health services and campus lighting in the interim airport terminal and construction of interim airport terminal building.
While the first part was allotted on November 8, 2021, the second was awarded on December 9, 2021.
Both works were stopped by agencies in April and May 2022 due to non-payment of funds by GLADA.
The work had resumed on November 17 last after the state government had made available Rs 50-crore corpus for the project.
“The remaining work to build the new international airport has been taken up on a war-footing and all stops have been pulled to complete the ambitious project at the earliest,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
He said the Civil Aviation department had already begun the process to launch flight operations by the time the new airport comes up.
Of the total allocation of Rs 50 crore by the state government, a sum of Rs 25 crore had already been transferred while the total requirement estimated so far was of Rs 45 crore.
For the purpose, the Finance Department (FD) has released a sum of Rs 30 crore while the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) through the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has undertaken to bear the expenditure of Rs 20 crore.
Reviewing the project, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had recently visited the site and had directed the officers concerned to complete the ongoing work in three months. “We have put the work on a fast-track mode and no delay will be tolerated at any cost,” the CM asserted while adding that there was no dearth of funds.
Assembly proposes name
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha had recently unanimously adopted a resolution to request the Centre to name the airport after Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha.
Moving the resolution during the Budget session, the Chief Minister had said it would be a humble tribute to the martyr.
Committed for early completion: MP
Sanjeev Arora, Rajya Sabha MP, said: “Our government has taken up the ongoing work to build a new international airport in Halwara on topmost priority. All stops have been pulled to make it operational at the earliest as enough funds have been provided and all support has been extended to complete the ongoing work in minimum possible time. I have already reached out to the major airlines to prepare their schedule for launching flights from here as soon as the airport gets ready.”
TURN OF EVENTS
April 11: Work for allied works allotted.
Nov 17, 2022: Work resumes
Nov 9, 2022: State government decides to take up the project and release Rs 50 crore for balance work.
May 2022: Punjab Government approached AAI to bear the cost of balance work after GLADA failed to release funds.
March 2022: Both contractors stopped the work for want of payments.
Dec 9, 2021: Work awarded to construct interim airport terminal at Rs 2,272.5 lakh.
Nov 8, 2021: Work of internal roads and allied infrastructure awarded at Rs 1,604.15 lakh.
Oct 22, 2021: AAI accorded formal nod to construct new interim terminal building at Rs 4,691.12 lakh.
Oct 26, 2021: Punjab Civil Aviation Secretary issued administrative approval for release of Rs 4,290.42 lakh through GLADA.
Total area: 161.28 acres
Terminal area: 2,000 sq m
Awarded cost: Rs 3,876.65L
Boundary wall, approach road Cost: Rs 309.33-crore
Missed deadlines: January, June 2022, June 2023
Fresh deadline: July 31
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