Upcoming int’l airport at Halwara 90% complete, to be ready by September 30 : The Tribune India

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Upcoming int’l airport at Halwara 90% complete, to be ready by September 30

Project misses sixth deadline, allied works to complete by October 31

Upcoming int’l airport at Halwara 90% complete, to be ready by September 30

RS MP Sanjeev Arora reviews the work on international airport at Halwara in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, September 7

The upcoming integrated civil enclave and cargo terminal at the Air Force Station in Halwara, which is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the Indian Air Force (IAF), close to Ludhiana, has been completed 90 per cent and will be ready by September 30, the government has confirmed.

After missing the sixth deadline of completion, which was fixed as August 30, allied works of the Rs 47-crore civil aviation project are now targeted to be completed by October 31, officials have said.

Even as the big ticket project has missed several deadlines, the construction of the interim terminal building has touched 85 per cent completion while the sub-station and toilet block was 90 per cent complete till date.

The development assumes significance as the Union Civil Aviation Ministry had recently assured to launch flights from here once the airport gets operational.

Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora told The Tribune on Monday that the ongoing construction work had already reached the advanced stage of completion with the overall progress of the mega project touching 90-per cent mark.

Arora, who reviewed the progress of the project, said the recent incessant rains had delayed the ongoing work after the construction site was waterlogged. “Now, the construction firm has sought one more month to meet the deadline beyond the earlier fixed target date of August 30,” he revealed.

He 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, the Rajya Sabha MP said the construction of the interim terminal building had touched 85-per cent mark, sub-station 90 per cent, and toilet block had been completed 90 per cent. All these three components of the new airport were now scheduled to be completed by September 30.

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 due to the recent rains, the job would now be finished by October 31.

Components of balance works, including apron and taxiway, have been completed 25 per cent each, while internal roads, lighting and public health works have touched the 55-per cent mark.

Besides, the planning and preparation of design of the approach road to the airport campus, the bridge at entry of the approach road, and allied works on the premises of the IAF base has already been done and preliminary execution has already been started to complete the job by September 30.

“A proposal for enhancing the work of already engaged agencies has already been submitted to the government for approval,” the officials concerned told Arora.

The PWD officials also informed that the final administrative approval for the additional work was still awaited while a case for approval of crust of peripheral road, apron and taxiway had been submitted to the AAI.

“While the preliminary work had already been started on these components, the payment could be made to the agency after receipt of the administrative approval,” it was informed.

Two verticals

The 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 the 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.

Work on war footing

“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 Union Civil Aviation Ministry had already begun the process to launch the flight operations by the time a new airport comes up.

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.

The Finance Department (FD) has released a sum of Rs 30 crore while the HUDD through GLADA has undertaken to bear the expenditure of Rs 20 crore.

Name proposed

The 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 CM had said it would be a humble tribute to the martyr.

To be ready soon: CM

“We are in the process to make the airport operational shortly following which more domestic and new international flights will be launched from here. All stops have been pulled to finish the ongoing work at the earliest,” said CM Bhagwant Mann.

Tasks awaiting AAI approval

  • Finalisation of airport’s peripheral road crust.
  • Approvals for apron and taxiway designs.
  • Submission of specified designs for IAF-governed areas.
  • Administrative approval.

Project Report

  • Total area: 161.28 acres
  • Terminal area: 2,000 square meters
  • 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 and August 30, 2023
  • Fresh deadline: September 30

Turn of events

  • April 11: Work for allied works allotted
  • November 17, 2022: Work resumes
  • November 9, 2022: Punjab Govt decides to take up project and release Rs 50 crore for balance work.
  • May 2022: Punjab Govt approached AAI to bear cost of balance work after GLADA failed to release funds.
  • March 2022: Both contractors stopped work for want of payments.
  • December 9, 2021: Work awarded to construct interim airport terminal at Rs 2,272.5 lakh.
  • November 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.

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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