Friday, July 03, 2020

Centre’s Udan scheme a slow starter in Bihar

Patna: The Centre’s ambitious regional connectivity scheme, Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), is still a far-fetched dream in Bihar as apart from Darbhanga, the work has not even started on another airstrip in Purnia.
The progress of development of a civil enclave at Bihta airbase in Patna is also sluggish. Officials have blamed lockdown due to Covid-19 for the delay in initiating the bidding process.
The detailed project report of Bihta airport was prepared last year and finalised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The two-floor terminal building is supposed to be constructed with an expenditure of more than Rs 500 crore.

K S Vijayan, general manager (engineering), projects, AAI Patna, said though the proposal has already been sent to the AAI for the bidding process, it may get delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic. “Bihta airbase will be the second airport in Patna to cater to the needs of rising number of flyers,” he said.

The AAI officials said as the Bihta airport project involved an expenditure of more than Rs 500 crore, it first got clearance from the ministry of finance. “The project is now pending with NITI Aayog. Once it is cleared, the bidding process will be initiated by the AAI headquarters,” Vijayan added.

The drone-shaped terminal building of Bihta airport will have the departure lounge on the first floor and arrival area on the ground floor. The state government has already given 108 acres of land for civil enclave and auxiliary buildings. An additional 8-acre-land for parking bays for big aircraft has also been given.
03/07/20 Faryal Rumi/Times of India

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