Monday, December 07, 2020

Pune airport cargo hub to get upgrade for vaccine storage, transport

Pune: The Pune airport authorities said the existing the cargo hold was adequate for safe storage and transportation of Covid-19 vaccines that are currently under development.

“We have a functional cargo terminal at the airport and cargo is regularly flown from Pune to other cities. This facility can be used for vaccines,” Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh told TOI on Sunday.

The facility has the capacity to handle 1.5 tonnes of cargo per day. A long-gestating plan to move the facility to a larger 2.5 acre plot — currently in the possession of the Indian Air Force — would increase its daily capacity to 500 tonnes.

In October, the authorities conceded that existing cargo facility was hobbled by space and infrastructural constraints, causing daily losses to the tune of Rs2.5 crore.

Pune MP Girish Bapat, who chairs the Pune airport advisory committee, said there was now a need to quickly shift the cargo hub and that he would travel to Delhi this week to meet defence ministry officials and get approval.

“Ten days ago, there was a meeting in Delhi between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the defence secretary. I will go to Delhi this week to follow up on that and get clearance to shift the facility. A temporary set-up can come up on the new plot once we get the approval,” Bapat said.

Moreover, officials in the know said discussions were on with all the stakeholders, including Serum Institute of India, and that an upgrade to the existing facility’s infrastructure too was on the cards.

“It all depends on the state and central governments to decide the process of distribution and transportation of the vaccine. We will be following the instructions. If there is a need, we will look into enhancing the (existing) facility to pave way for smooth storage and transportation of the vaccine,” an airport official said.

07/12/20 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment