Uncertainty looms over airport expansion in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: Despite efforts by Odisha government to develop infrastructures and expansion of Biju Patnaik International airport here, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) seems to be stick over 64 acre required for expansion of the airport.

According to reports, the AAI requires 64 acre for expansion of Bhubaneswar international airport. It strictly asked the government to allot 64 acre land or else can look for another substitute.

Although, government agreed to provide 47 acre, the AAI reluctant to carryout expansion project with the availability of land.

It was revealed at a high level meeting attended between AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra and Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on September 1.

During discussion over several issues including hindrance in expansion, the officials informed Mohapatra about availability of land of only 47 acre out of 64 acre.

As per the government’s blueprint, the land belonging to OUAT will be handed over to the AAI for airport expansion by allotting that quantity of land to the university in other location. The government is also planning to evict a slum built in the area and rehabilitate the people in Bharatpur area with providing compensation amount of Rs 1.89 crore.

However, Mohapatra rejected the government’s plan and proposal. He said that runway can be expanded upto 1000 mt from 900 length with such quantum of land making it clear about the difficulties to be occurred in case of landing of Boeing flights on the tiny runway.

Sources said that the minimum length of a runway of the international airport should be 1100 mt for landing of the Boeing flights.

If the government fails to allot 64 acre, the AAI denied to start expansion project with 47 acre land, Mohapatra said in the meeting asking the authorities can identify land in other location for international airport.

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