Concerned over the slow pace of expansion work of airport, Bokaro Deputy Commissioner KN Jha held a meeting with the concerned officials on Saturday.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials were also scheduled to attend the meeting but none arrived, informed Hema Prasad SDO Chas.
Unauthorised slum adjacent to Bokaro airport boundary wall has put a halt on the expansion and development work, informed the SDO.
“Residents of the slum surrounding the airport have broken the newly constructed boundary three times earlier and now they have made a big hole in the wall to use the inside area for open defecation,” said a contract a worker engaged in expansion work.
“Following the complaint, we have increased the vigil (24 hours) surrounding the airport,” said SDO.
Admitting that illegal houses have come up in the area which is creating problems for expansion of the airport; all-out efforts are being made to make the areas encroachments free, said Prasad.
“We have decided to launch anti-encroachment drive soon after the monsoon ends,” added SDO.
Over the delay in completion of work the AAI Manager Simerdeep Singh had earlier requested Bokaro Deputy Commissioner for earliest removal of encroachments surrounding to the airport. Over 400 houses (huts) along with Khatals are at this unauthorised slum in Sector XII of the Bokaro Steel City’s township area.
The city was scheduled to be connected from Kolkata and Patna airports from 25 December 2018, under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das laid the foundation stone for expansion on 25 August last year.
However, due to several hurdles and political tug of war, the expansion activity got delayed.
With a long runway of 1673 meters, the airport will be able for the operation of ATR-72 types of aircrafts.
Its terminal building will be built in an area of 3520 square meters with peak hour capacity of 100 passengers, six check-in counters and two arrival carrousels (belt) with a parking capacity of 20 cars.
After getting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) nod, services of 72- seater passenger aircraft can only be started from Bokaro airstrip now with Patna, Kolkata and Delhi, said an official source.