Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur directed the officers to expedite various formalities for construction of Greenfield Airport at Nagchala in Mandi district and expansion of Kangra and Shimla Airports. He was presiding over a meeting regarding development/ expansion of Airports in the State held here today. Jai Ram Thakur said that land measuring 2936 bigha has been identified for construction of Greenfield Airport in Mandi district and site clearance has been obtained in January, 2020. He said that during a meeting held with the Ministry of Civil Aviation in November, 2019 it was decided that AAI to go ahead with 2100 meters length of runway in phase-I. However, Government of Himachal Pradesh would acquire land for proposed runway upto 3150 meters for phase-II and additional land would be kept unutilized as buffer zone, he added. He said that State Government had signed MoU for development and operation of this Greenfield airport through a Joint Venture Company on 15th January, 2020.Chief Minister said that as per estimates total expenditure of Rs. 7448 crore would be incurred on this ambitious project on land acquisition, terminal building, runways and allied activities. He said that expenditure of Rs. 2786 crore on land acquisition, Rs. 2965 crore on other developmental activities, Rs. 900 crore on terminal building, runway and allied infrastructure, Rs. 782 crore on structures and Rs. 15 crore on compensatory levies for FCA would be made.
He said that this proposed airstrip would require channelization of Suketi khad.Jai Ram Thakur said that 1780 bigha of land has been identified for development and expansion of Kangra Airport for operation of A-320 type of aircraft and cost of acquisition of land and allied activites would be Rs. 3347.18 crore. He said that this proposed airstrip would require channelization of Manjhi khad alongwith construction of new approach road to airport.While referring about expansion of Shimla Airport, Chief Minister said that Union Civil Aviation Minister in November 2019 has agreed to provide funds for expansion of Shimla Airport runway adding length of another 300 meters for which land measuring 182-11 bighas had been identified. He said that proposal for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has been submitted.Jai Ram Thakur said that with the construction of Greenfield Airport in Mandi district and expansion of Kangra Airport and Shimla Airport, tourism activities would get new boost up in the State as high end tourists would come forward to visit the gorgeous areas of the State which would not only strengthen the economy of the State but also provide employment and self employment avenues to the local people.A presentation was also made on various tourism projects being implemented in the State by Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation Devesh Kumar.Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary J.C. Sharma, Secretary Vikas Labroo, Director Tourism Yunus and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.