|Source: The Sambad|
The AAI team first visited the existing Rangeilunda airstrip on Berhampur University campus. It may be noted that the airstrip is active since past several decades. The airstrip spread over 40 acres of land was built during the British era during the World War II. It is now maintained by the State Public Works Department. At Rangeilunda airstrip, the AAI team held discussion with Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy, executive engineer of public works department and other district officials. They studied whether the Rangeilunda airstrip could be developed into the proposed low-cost airport by adding up extra land to its south and west directions, said Mr. Panigrahy. The Gopalpur MLA said once the AAI finalises the site, the State government would provide all possible assistance for establishment of the airport near Berhampur.
Later, the team reached Ramchandrapur to inspect around 300 acres of land that has been earmarked for the proposed low-cost airport. Speaking to newsmen, members of the AAI team said they would assess the cost-benefit ratio as well as feasibility of both sites and send their report to their authorities for the final decision.
“We have studied every detail of the situation at both the places, including the existing Rangeilunda airstrip and Ramchandrapur village, nearby. We will submit our feasibility report to the AAI for a final decision,” said the joint general manager (planning) of AAI P.K. Mahapatra, who led the team.
The PWD executive engineer, who is in-charge of the Rangeilunda airstrip, said: “The length of the present runway is 895 meters, which is insufficient for take-off and landing of commercial aircraft. The AAI is insisting on 3,500m long and 500m wide runway. There are now 150 acres of land at Rangeilunda airstrip. We can acquire another 200 acres in the nearby areas as required by the AAI for opening a small airport.’’
It may be noted that the Central government has taken a decision for setting up 51 low-cost airports in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. Three of them will be set up in the State in places like Berhampur, Rourkela, and Keonjhar. The four-member AAI team will also visit the two other sites for the proposed low-cost airports in the State. Sources: The Hindu, The Pioneer & The Telegraph
|Source: ORISSA POST|