The airport proposed at Ankleshwar in Bharuch district to boost investment in Port and the up coming Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) at Dahej is facing hurdle in obtaining environmental clearance because of the sites proximity to the National Highway 8 (NH-8).
The project proponent Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Limited (GUJSAIL) has been asked to obtain no objection certificate (NOC) from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the minister of environment and forests.
Ankleshwar is one of the biggest industrial townships in Bharuch district with a population of 140,839. However, the for air connectivity people in Ankleshwar town have depend on either Surat or Vadodara airports located at a distance of 73 and 72 km respectively.
GUJSAIL is of the view that air connectivity at Ankleshwar would not only boost the industrial growth but also create significant employment opportunities for the people in the region. Furthermore, the connectivity was required looking into the developments proposed at Dahej Port one of the top industrial zones in the country, and the upcoming PCPIR there.
Total land required for the airport is around 80 hectares which has already been acquired by the GUJSAIL. The land is located on the north-eastern side of Ankleshwar immediately abutting the NH-8. This why the EAC has raised objections, sites close proximity to the NH-8 which is one of the busiest highway of the country.
The EAC during its recent meeting noted that the proposed site was very close to the National Highway 8 which was a busy highway. It “advised the proponent (GUJSAIL) to provide the NOC from the NHAI/Ministry of Road and Surface Transport, DGCA and Airport Authority of India with a special mention on the setback limits from the highway.” The committee also deferred its decision of environmental clearance to the airport till the NOCs were obtained.
The PCPIR at Dahej spread across 453 sq km area is one of the most ambitious projects of the Gujarat government which had attracted investment commitments worth over Rs 90,000 crore. The PCPIR provides direct employment to over 13,000 persons in the existing units and indirect employment to over 46,000 workers. ONGC Petro additional Ltd (OPaL), a joint venture promoted by ONGC Ltd, GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) Ltd is the anchor tenant for the PCPIR and has invested Rs 19,535 crore.