Centre keen to develop 7 new airports, state ‘not responding’

Ajit Singh said he himself and the Airports Authority of India had sent many letters to the UP government regarding the development of these airports, but in vain

The Union Civil Aviation Ministry is eager to develop as many as seven new civilian airports in Uttar Pradesh — at Agra, Meerut, Jhansi, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Moradabad and Allahabad — but is getting a lukewarm response from the state government.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said he himself and the Airports Authority of India(AAI) had sent several letters regarding the development of these airports, but the state government has not given any "positive response" yet.

Singh first wrote to the state government for taking the necessary measures to provide land in Meerut, Agra and Jhansi for the development of civilian airports. In April, AAI Chairman V P Agrawal wrote to Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani, requesting him to hand over

Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Airfield at Partapur in Meerut, belonging to the state, for development of an airport. The letter was sent along with the concept master plan of the airport. Agrawal requested the government to acquire 433 acres of additional land and hand it over to the AAI "free of cost and free from all encumbrances".

Singh also wrote to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on May 31. Later, after the state government wrote to AAI in July to revise the master plan and the additional land requirement, the AAI sent the revised master plan and additional land requirement of 427 acres in August. On October 12, Singh wrote to the CM to expedite the transfer of the airstrip to AAI so as to enable them to take the development of the airport at the earliest. He wrote that "the acquisition and transfer of additional land may follow subsequently". On November 16, Singh wrote to Akhilesh reiterating his request for expediting the transfer of airstrip to AAI. He also wrote that the state governments normally transfers land to AAI free of cost and free from all encumbrances for the development of airports in their states. He also enclosed a list of states which had offered the land free of cost for the development of airports there.

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