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CM urged to expedite B’pur greenfield airport
The Odisha Development Forum has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to expedite the process of establishing a Greenfield domestic airport in Brahmapur near Sitalapalli.
Forum president Ram Prasad Tripathy alleged that the Union Civil Aviation Minister has been making repeated appeals to Odisha to submit a proposal for the establishment of a domestic airport in Brahmapur and only for the negligence of Odisha Government, it is yet to take off.
Consequently, Brahmapur fails to make it to the list of airports under UDAN scheme of the Central Government for air connectivity to Tier-II cities, he said.
The State Government says it will extend Rangailunda Airstrip, which is already rejected by the AAI for technical reasons. However, Brahmapur wants a green field domestic airport, not the extension of Rangailunda Airstrip as proposed which is inside the Berhampur University campus. An expansion of airstrip will destroy the educational environment and will be the biggest obstacle for future expansion of the university, Tripathy said further.
He stated that Brahmapur city with its urban agglomeration is the second biggest city of Odisha and is a commercial nerve centre. It also serves as the gateway to the entire South Odisha. The city has the Army Air Defence College, TATA Industrial Park, IRE, SARAFF and Birla like big industries, the Gopalpur Sea Port, major tourist destinations like Gopalpur, Chilika, Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha etc, IISER, two universities, several professional colleges, engineering colleges, medical colleges.
Therefore, maximum tourists are coming to and travelling from this place who depend on air travel for quick communication.
Besides, the area is always affected by tropical storms and historically this area is prone to cyclones. During cyclone time, the area is cut off for several days from the rest of the country and the people are facing enormous problems for communication. Therefore, air connectivity to this area is highly essential, Tripathy stated, adding that since more than 35 per cent travelers from Bhubaneswar and 25 per cent travellers from Visakhapatnam airport are from the place, the project will be a viable project for the AAI.
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