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Uttar Pradesh seeks 'wings' to proposed international airports

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  New Delhi/ Lucknow 

The Uttar Pradesh government has urged the Centre for early clearance to the proposed international airports in Greater Noida and Kushinagar district.

The two airports to be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) model will together entail an investment of around Rs 4,500 crore and acquisition of 1,800 hectares land.

While the matter of the proposed Taj International Airport (TIA) at Jewar (Greater Noida) is pending before the Union civil aviation ministry for long, the Kushinagar airport is yet to be cleared by central government departments.

Speaking at an infrastructure summit in New Delhi on Tuesday, UP Finance Minister and Chief Minister Mayawati's representative Lalji Varma said the state government had conceived the two airports under PPP mode as per the Planning Commission's directives and the Centre should approve them without further delay.

Proposed as an aviation hub, TIA is supposed to decongest the New Delhi airport as the aviation sector treads its high growth trajectory. The eight-lane Yamuna Expressway (earlier Taj Expressway) from Greater Noida to Agra would pass also through Jewar.

Besides, the TIA could well be among the three new airports, as part of the Early Bird Projects under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

Recently, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had informed Parliament that an international airport between Ahmedabad and Dholera in Gujarat, an aerotropolis near Jaipur (Rajasthan) and an international airport in UP had been envisaged under the plan.

Similarly, the Kushinagar airport is aimed at giving the Buddhist tourism a boost and capitalise on rising commutation between eastern UP and the Gulf countries. The proposed airport has now reached the Request for Proposal (RfP) stage and four companies GMR, GVK, L&T and Gammon India are in fray. They can file their bids till April 10.

Meanwhile, the government has asked the Centre to provide coal linkages to several proposed thermal power projects in UP viz Jawaharpur (Etah), Dopaha (Sonebhadra) and Lalitpur. The proposal for the allocation of 6 coal blocks to the state is also pending.

"The Centre is setting up 12 Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPPs) totalling 48,000 Megawatt (Mw) all over the country, yet no such project has been given to UP despite repeated demands," Varma lamened.

First Published: Thu, March 25 2010. 00:54 IST