Monday, November 23, 2020

On the wings of delay: Halwara airport is yet again caught in red-tapism

Ludhiana: The construction work of the international airport at Halwara may get delayed further: despite floating tenders for the construction of boundary wall, the public works department (PWD) is yet to open the same, as they are yet to get mandatory approval from Airport Authority of India (AAI). Meanwhile, AAI officials are waiting for mutation of the acquired land at Aitiana in favour of the Authority before giving go ahead to state government department for start of work on boundary wall.

The PWD officials said the tenders for construction of about 2,300m boundary brick wall, with a height of 10 feet and 2 feet wide, were to be opened in the first week of November.

Executive engineer PWD (building and roads (B&R) wing), Rakesh Garg confirmed that they are yet to get approval for the construction of boundary wall from AAI. He indicated that tenders will be opened after they get the necessary approval.

PWD officer said the estimated cost of construction of boundary wall is around Rs 3 crore. He added that it might take about six months for construction of the boundary wall once the work begins.

An AAI officials, meanwhile, said permission might not be granted without mutation of acquired land for Halwara airport in the name of authority.

An AAI officer asking not to be named said the state government has got mutation of land of Sahnewal Airport in the name of AAI, but it is yet to transfer the ownership of land at Aitina, where land has been acquired for Halwara airport, in the name of AAI. He added that it was in the memorandum of understanding between AAI and the state government that land will be transferred to AAI but despite that it has not been done.

23/11/20 Shariq Majeed/Times of India

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