Wednesday, July 31, 2019

West Bengal: Flight plans grounded at Cooch Behar

Kolkata: The fledgling Cooch Behar airport has become an unlikely casualty in the face-off between West Bengal government and the Centre.

The airport which was to become operational from early August will likely miss the date.

On Sunday, over 40 West Bengal police personnel posted at the airport were withdrawn. This puts the security and safety of the airport at stake.

There were 46 police personnel of state police deployed on duty for the past few months. Even the armed police in the security zone have been taken off. No reason for their withdrawal has been forthcoming.

Airport authorities are clueless since the state administration has not conveyed anything in writing to them.

On Saturday a nine-seater had landed on a trial run.

Cooch Behar Airport Director Biplab Mandal said, "I do not know what has happened. We saw fewer state police on Saturday night. From Sunday afternoon there is no state police in the whole airport.

The airport authorities said the administration was informed about the Saturday’s trial run. According to the rules, fire tenders and police personnel are required to be present at the airport. However, on the night of the flight, the state withdrew the police.
31/07/19 Manogya Loiwal/India Today
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