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Taj International Airport awaits Centre's nod

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  New Delhi/ Lucknow 

The proposed near Noida in the National Capital Region is still awaiting Centre’s nod even as plans to complete the project before the 2010 have long been given up.

The state government has accused the Centre of resorting to dilly-dallying tactics with regard to the project initially estimated to cost Rs 3,500 crore and projected to handle 4 million passengers annually.

Though the techno-feasibility study of the airport hub had been submitted to the Centre, nothing has been forthcoming as yet.

Proposed way back in 2001, the aviation hub was conceptualised to rival New Delhi’s International Airport. The project was approved by the Airports Authority of India in 2003, when Mayawati was heading the Uttar Pradesh government in her earlier stint.

“The central clearance is still pending. In fact, we have even been asked to reconsider our plans for the airport itself,” Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner told Business Standard.

Earlier, there was another hurdle to the project as rules barred development of another airport within 150 km radius of an existing one, in this case India Gandhi International Airport. However, now the government has allowed greenfield airports to be developed within 150 km radius, for example in Navi Mumbai to decongest the Mumbai airport.

The state government in the last two years has made several representations to the Centre to push the project forward and even requested to convene a Union cabinet secretary meet to clear any doubts about the proposed project.

The public-private partnership (PPP) project will entail acquisition of over 1,500 hectares of land at Jewar in Gautam Buddhar Nagar and take about 18 months to complete. The UP government had already prepared the bidding document.

The hub with two runways to start with will offer cargo and transit facilities for international connecting flights. Besides as conceived, the periphery would be developed as major commercial, residential, shopping and recreational spots including a night safari and Formula 1 racing track .

Jewar is about 60 km from Noida. An eight-lane Yamuna Expressway (earlier Taj Expressway) from Greater Noida to Agra would pass through the town.

First Published: Fri, May 08 2009. 00:07 IST