Halwara International airport complete, IAF set to give it wings by July : The Tribune India

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Halwara International airport complete, IAF set to give it wings by July

Rs 47-cr big-ticket project that missed 11 deadlines to see light of day

Halwara International airport complete, IAF set to give it wings by July

The new international airport at Halwara in Ludhiana. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, June 11

Finally, the new international airport at Halwara in Ludhiana has been built and the Indian Air Force (IAF) will give it wings by July, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said.

The Rs 47-crore much-awaited and much-delayed big-ticket project has seen 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 AAI and the state government to ensure early completion of the new international airport.

It was following a demand raised by the Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana, Sanjeev Arora, that the Union Civil Aviation Secretary, Vumlunmang Vualnam, had issued directions for the early completion of the Centre-state joint venture.

Irked over the slow pace of the ongoing work, Arora had also pulled up officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) and the contractors, who had been entrusted with the civil and other related jobs inside and outside the airport campus. The ruling AAP member from Punjab in the Upper House of Parliament had even warned of censuring the negligent and callous officials, besides getting the private contractors blacklisted for the inordinate delay in the completion of the ongoing work.

“I had directed them to pull all stops to expedite the ongoing work and ensure the completion in all respects till May 15, which was fixed as the fresh deadline,” Arora said, after reviewing the current status of the project, on Tuesday.

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, had already come up, the allied works of the major civil aviation project have also been completed.

With all pending nods having been procured, the work on all other components, which were stalled for long, has been finished.

The MP disclosed that the civil construction work had already been completed but the IAF, which owns the airbase on which the airport has been built, has to overlay the runway and taxiway within the IAF campus following which the airport will become operational.

Arora, who visited the project site here recently, said a joint meeting of all Central and state departments concerned and contractors was held on June 6, wherein the IAF assured that it would begin the pending work under its territory by July 1 and complete it by July-end.

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