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Dehra Dun airport to get Rs 72-cr facelift

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi/ Dehra Dun 

Broad roads, wide airstrip and swanky lounge --Jollygrant airport here is all set for a makeover thanks to a new expansion programme. An estimated Rs 72 crore is being spent on the expansion of the airport.
The expansion work, which began early this year, was likely to be completed by the end of the year, said officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI).
The move to expand the airport comes in the wake of a perception that tourism in Uttarakhand was suffering due to the non-availability of jumbo aircraft like Boeing and Airbus. At present, only Deccan Airways is plying 45-seater aircraft between Dehra Dun and New Delhi.
Once the upgrade work is completed, the airport would be ready to receive Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft.
On the other hand, efforts are on to connect the Jollygrant airport with various major destinations like Mumbai and Chennai. Indian Airlines and other airlines are in touch with state government officials in this regard. Earlier, homes of nearly 65 families of the Tehri dam oustees, who were rehabilitated near the airport in 1980s, have been demolished following the construction activities. Sadly enough, these villagers have to pay heavy price in the name of development.
While two villages, Bagi and Kitchha, have been completely wiped out, 80 other families are being partially rehabilitated. Though some people are still complaining they did not receive adequate compensation, the officials said the matter has been settled. "We have rehabilitated nearly 65 families near the airport area," said PC Sharma, secretary, civil aviation, Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, plans are being chalked out to rope in Pawan Hans for helicopter services to major pilgrim centres like Badrinath and Hemkund.

First Published: Fri, February 23 2007. 00:00 IST