Major milestone: Puri Sri Jagannath International Airport tender launched, construction timeline set

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government has initiated the tender process for the development of the Puri Sri Jagannath International Airport through a public-private partnership (PPP) model, with an estimated cost of Rs 2,203 crore.

The Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) has invited tenders on behalf of the Commerce and Transport department of the Odisha government, aiming to attract international competitive bids for this significant project in the pilgrimage town.

According to a notification issued by IDCO, bids for the airport project will be accepted online starting from February 21. The technical evaluation of these bids is scheduled to take place on April 21. It is anticipated that the construction of the airport will be completed within a period of 1,095 days.

The proposed Puri Sri Jagannath International Airport will be an international greenfield airport, aligning with the standards set for such projects. Like other airports, this project will be developed and managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) granted approval for the diversion of forest land in November 2023, facilitating the ambitious Shree Jagannath International Airport project in Puri. This approval followed the site clearance granted in October of the same year. The clearance process commenced a year earlier when the Odisha government submitted all necessary documents to the ministry in line with the Greenfield Airports (GFA) Policy of 2008.

The international airport is slated to be constructed on 1,164 acres of land, including 68 acres of forest area and 221.48 acres of privately-owned land in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur under Brahmagiri tehsil. While the estimated cost of the airport project is Rs 5,631 crore, the MoEFCC has approved the diversion of 68.81 acres of forest land. The remaining land comprises 221.89 acres of private land and state government-owned land in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur under Brahmagiri tehsil.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish an international airport in Puri to promote Jagannath culture. The need for such an airport was underscored by land constraints hindering the expansion of the Bhubaneswar airport, which experienced increasing footfall from tourists and pilgrims visiting Puri, located approximately 65 km away from the Odisha capital.