Saturday, December 09, 2017

Amid protests, Pantnagar airport likely to be shifted

Rudrapur: The expansion plan of the only airport in Kumaon at Pantnagar, 15 km from Rudrapur, has once again hit a roadblock. Earlier this year, the project had faced opposition from residents of Sanjay and Masjid colony and after a revised proposal was sent to the Airport Authority of India (AAI), locals of TDC colony had also registered their protest against land acquisition for the expansion.
Now a third proposal has been sent to AAI for approval in which the airport is likely to be shifted to Pattharchatta Sainik farm area on Rudrapur-Pantnagar road.
As per the new proposal, nearly 758 hectares land would be required to build this airport of Tier-1 class, costing around Rs 1,200 crore. Earlier the Centre had made provision of Rs 600 crore for the expansion of the airport on 571 acres of land.
SK Singh, director of the Pantnagar Airport, said, “In the existing plan, the runway is intercepting an ‘elephant corridor’. A team of obstruction limitation clearance from Delhi will be visiting the airport on Tuesday and also inspect the new site. The new airport will have regional connectivity with other airstrips and army aviation helipads of the state. The decision was approved by the chairman of AAI, Dr Guruprasad Mahapatra, as the earlier proposal did not meet the standards of a Tier-1 airport.”
09/12/17 Aakash Ahuja/Times of India