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Centre clears Taj International Airport project
April 07, 2003 17:34 IST
The Central government has, at last, cleared the techno-feasibility report for setting up the ambitious Taj International Airport and Aviation Hub in Uttar Pradesh, to be constructed and operated by the year 2007-08.
The new international airport, about 72 km from Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi, would be built at an approximate cost of Rs 5000 crore (Rs 50 billion) on an area of 1000 hectares, located north of Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar district of the state. Private participation under the (Built-Operate-Transfer) scheme has also been invited in the project.
The central government approved the mega project in the last week of March after Director General Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India and Indian Air Force gave a nod to the setting up of the airport.
Disclosing this to reporters on Monday, state industrial development secretary Anup Mishra said the new international airport would be part of the Taj Economic Zone, which is being developed on around 2500 hectares of land.
''The techno-feasibility report of the project has been approved and by the next six months, global bids would be awarded to the concerned parties,'' Mishra claimed adding the project would be completed within five years.
He said the Taj International Airport and Aviation Hub would be the only world-class international airport in North India and the first aviation hub in northern and central parts of the country. The airport is expected to be a catalyst for growth in tourism, hospitality, entertainment, SEZ exports, Agri exports, handicrafts like marble, glass and brass and other related sectors.
Mishra said the operation of Taj International Airport would complement the overloaded Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi and more importantly, it shall open North India for a large number of international transit traffic.
''It shall also have unique world-class facilities of airlines maintenance, international cargo handling including customs clearance. Specialised facilities will also be provided such as handling perishables like flowers, agri-exports, duty free shops, entertainment centres, hotels etc,'' he said.
The Aviation Hub shall work on 70 per cent non-aviation revenue streams model. Having secured the technical clearance for the airport, the Uttar Pradesh government plans to go ahead with other requirements needed for launching the project at the earliest.
The international airport shall also contribute towards the cropping pattern of entire Western Uttar Pradesh and adjoining states providing an option for quick and safe transport of perishable goods to international destinations.
This, in itself, is expected to vastly improve agricultural income, raise prosperity and purchasing power levels which in turn, would generate growth in various sectors like manufacturing, consumer goods, real estate, health and education.
Mishra further said the International Aviation Hub shall be developed on the lines of similar hubs in Singapore, Bangkok and London (Heathrow).
It is estimated that about 200 long haul international flights between Europe, West Asia and South-East Asia fly daily over Northern India and are unable to stop over because of lack of transit facilities, State Industrial Development Secretary said adding the new airport is expected to fill this gap.
Besides, the airport is expected to convert a large percentage of this international transit traffic into international tourist flow to Agra and other adjoining tourist destinations in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The projects plan to free the International tourists from the hassles of the crowded IGI airport, the four-hour-long drive from Delhi to Agra and the strain of finding a convenient place to stay.
The Aviation Hub would allow both transit passengers and tourists to avail the facilities of hassle-free short duration local visa, custom clearance, world-class hotels, recreation and specially designed package tours, Mishra said.
He said the hub and consequent expected large inflow of tourists might provide a boost to the handicraft sector, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh.
The marble inlay work and soft stone work around Agra, the glass work of Ferozabad, the brass industry of Aligarh and Moradabad, tarkashi of Mainpuri, perfumes and zardozi work of Farrukhabad and Kannauj shall greatly benefit with the inflow of tourists and prospective shoppers, he added.