Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday urged Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up an airport in the port town of Paradip, a fast emerging industrial hub in Odisha.
“I request you to give personal attention to examine techno-economic feasibility for setting up of an airport at Paradip as soon as possible,” Pradhan said in a letter to Prabhu.
“The grand vision of the development of Paradip would remain incomplete without an airport providing air connectivity, as the nearest Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar is 135 km away and takes more than 3 hours by road,” said the Minister.
He said the Paradip Port Trust has already requested the Airport Authority of India to set up an airport in Paradip.
The Paradip port, which handled a total cargo of 100+ million tons last year, is being further expanded and modernized and it is expected that by 2020 it would be able to handle 332 million tons of cargo per annum thereby making it the largest port in India, said the Minister.
He said the union government has declared Paradip Port as a Smart Port Industrial City.
Besides having the port, Paradip already has an oil refinery of 15 MMTPA capacity, a 12 MMTPA pellet plant, 2 fertilizer plants together of 4 MMTPA capacity and one edible oil refinery, said Pradhan.
In addition, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is implementing several big ticket industrial projects, including expansion of refinery to 21 MMTPA from 15 MMTPA, a 700 TMT Poly Propylene (PP) Plant by 2018 and a 355 TMT Mono Ethyl Glycol (MEG) unit by 2023-24 which will feed various downstream industries including plastics, paints, rubber and synthetic yarn industries.