BAPL signs agreement with WBIDC

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Kolkata, Jan 18 (UNI) Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited(BAPL) today signed an agreement with West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation(WBIDC) for setting up of an aerotropolis in West Bengal's Durgapur-Asansol industrial area involving an overall investment of Rs. 10,000 crore.

The agreement was signed in presence of state Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen.

The proposed aerotropolis, to be developed in phases on 2,300 acres, would comprise an airport, an industrial zone, including an information technology park and a township with all social infrastructure.

" The total development will take place in three-four phases over a period of seven years. However, the construction of the airport will take 30 months from the date of handing over the land, " BAPL Director Partha Ghosh said.

An approximate investment of about Rs 400 crore, including Rs 135 crore for the airport would be made in the first phase by BAPL, a consortium of four companies, including Pragati Social Infrastructure and Development Limited, a Joint venture of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).

The feasibility study for the project had already been cleared by the Civil Aviation Ministry while a commercial study was now underway, Mr.Ghosh said.

To a question, he said the funds for the project would be a mix of debts and equities. WBIDC would act as a facilitator of the project instead of being an equity partner.

While BAPL would develop the airport, it would go for tie-ups with few co-developers for the township and infrastructure projects.

Speaking on the occasion, the Industry Minister said WBIDC would purchase the proposed land from private parties and give it on lease to BAPL under certain terms and conditions.

" The proposed aerotropolis would cater to the nees of a large industrial area which is also close to Dhanbad in Jharkhand, " Mr Sen said.

According to Mr Ghosh, the proposed airport would have a 3.2 km runway. It will also have several facilities, including that for night parking.

" The total investment for the airport could push up to Rs 500 crore, " he said.

He explained that the objective of the agreement was to develop industrial, urban and social infrastructure with the airport as its central component by providing an integrated development with forward linkages to industry, trade, education, tourism and other acilities.

UNI KDG SJC/src2003

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