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New International airport ready to take off next month

New International airport ready to take off next month

The new international airport at Halwara in Ludhiana.



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, June 11

The new international airport at Halwara here is getting ready to take off next month, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said.

PROJECT REPORT

Total area: 161.28 acres

Terminal area: 2,000 sq m

Awarded cost: Rs 3,876.65 lakh

Boundary wall, approach road cost: Rs 309.33 crore

Missed deadlines: January, June 2022, June, July, August 15, August 30, September 30, October 30, 2023, February 29, March 31, May 15, 2024

Fresh deadline: July 31

Tasks cleared

  • Airport’s peripheral road crust finalised
  • Apron and taxiway designs approved
  • Specified designs for the IAF-governed areas submitted
  • IAF nod to widen internal taxiways

Two verticals

The construction work of the project was divided into two verticals — 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 vertical was allotted on November 8, 2021, the second was awarded on December 9, 2021. Both works were stopped by the 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 development assumes significance as the Rs 47-crore much-awaited and much-delayed big ticket project had missed 11 deadlines in the past almost two-and-a-half-years.

Divulging the component-wise status, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjeev Arora told The Tribune on Tuesday that the construction of the interim terminal building, sub-station and toilet block had been completed. All these three components of the new airport were being given the finishing touches before handing them over to the AAI.

He said the civil construction work had already been completed but the Indian Air Force (IAF), which owns the airbase on which the airport has been built, has to overlay the runway and taxiway on the IAF campus following which the airport would become operational by July 31.

Arora said the balance work, which was allotted on April 13 last with a time limit of completion in five months, was scheduled to be completed by September 12 but due to the bad weather and delay in the mandatory nods, this job has also been more or less finished.

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.

While the upcoming approach road to the airport campus and the work on bridge at the entry of approach road have been completed 85 per cent each, allied works on the premises of the IAF base have also been done 30 per cent so far.

“All pending jobs were scheduled to be finished by next month,” the ruling AAP member from Punjab in the Upper House of the Parliament said.

On Tuesday, Arora took up the issue of overlaying runway and taxiway with the IAF top brass, who have assured him to get the job done without any further delay to give wings to the new airport at the earliest.

Recently, the AAI and the IAF had granted in-principle approvals to undertake the balance work at the upcoming 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 was mandatory to undertake the work inside the Air Force-governed areas.

With this, all pending approvals for the mega project had been granted and the work to undertake the balance tasks had taken off on the ground.

Following delay in these approvals, several components of the project had remained suspended for a long time and had gotten much delayed.

Recently, Arora had called on the Civil Aviation Minister and Secretary and briefed them about issues in details, following which the Centre had showed prompt response and had accorded the formal approvals of the project, which were lying pending with his Ministry for a long time while those falling under the purview of the IAF were taken up with the Defence Ministry.

He said the IAF had also given its nod to widen the internal taxiways in the upcoming civil enclave.

“The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has already begun the process to launch the flight operations by the time a new airport comes up,” Arora added.

To ensure early take off, says Rajya Sabha MP

“The official machinery as well private contractors have been asked to undertake the finishing work as soon as the IAF carries out its work. We have already pulled all stops to complete the ambitious project and will ensure that it takes off shortly.” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Rs 50-cr allocated

Of the total allocation of Rs 50 crore by the state government, a sum of Rs 30 crore had already been transferred while the total requirement estimated so far was of Rs 45 crore.

For this purpose, the Finance Department (FD) has released a sum of Rs 30 crore while the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) through GLADA has undertaken to bear the expenditure of Rs 20 crore.

Name proposed

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 who laid down his life for the motherland. He had said the martyr had been an inspiration for young generations.

Flights shortly: CM

“We are in the process of making the airport operational shortly following which more domestic and new international flights will be launched from here. We have been providing all requisite support to finish the ongoing work at the earliest,” said Bhagwant Mann, CM.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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