Odisha govt reviews air connectivity to Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Jeypore, Utkela


Bhubaneswar: To ensure the growth of business and tourism in Odisha, the state government on Wednesday reviewed on increasing air connectivity in the state.

While Jharsuguda airport has been made fully operational with five flights operating presently, two more flights from Jharsuguda to Bangalore and Kolkata will be commenced soon.

This was decided in the State Level Monitoring Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy here.

Tripathy directed to widen the airstrip at Rourkela for operation of bigger flights which would benefit the people.

Presently, Rourkela airport with 5900 ft runway has been made ready for operation of the 19 sitter flights. Routes like Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Raipur have been decided for the airport.

Airport Authority of India has also floated the bidding inviting offer from airlines operators.

The Chief Secretary further directed to complete the construction of terminal building, runway and other associated infrastructure at Jeypore airstrip in Koraput district as per the master plan of works departments with an estimated cost of Rs 55 crore.

The progress regarding the development of Utkela airstrip in Kalahandi district showed that the social impact study has already been completed and submitted to Government.

No major issues of displacement and rehabilitation are involved in it. The process for land acquisition has been started while the Chief Secretary directed to complete the process within the scheduled time.

Discussions in the meeting showed that 4 airstrips of Odisha were selected for UDAN scheme. These airstrips were at Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Utkela and Jeypore.

Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar would serve as mentor airport.

Director Civil Aviation Himansu Bhusan Panda appraised that as of now Jharsuguda has been connected with Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raipur.

Two more flights to Bangalore and Kolkata would come up shortly from Jharsuguda.

The Odisha government is providing both the manpower and financial support to make the regional connectivity scheme viable during initial periods.