Airports in MP to be developed: Pachouri

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Indore, Mar 16: Union Minister of State for Personnel and newly-appointed Madhya Pradesh Congress President Suresh Pachouri today said airports in Bhopal and Indore will get international status after development of airports in the state.

''The Centre has approved Rs 700 crore for developing airports in Bhopal, Indore, Khajuraho, Jabalpur and Gwalior. The work would take two years to complete but Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has assured that it would be completed before time,'' said Mr Pachouri, while addressing a programme after 'bhoomi poojan' event for the expansion of the Devi Ahilya airport here.

He said the state government has provided land for the expansion of airports but more land is needed. After the expansion, airports in Bhopal and Indore can get international status.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kantilal Bhuria urged the government to make more land available for expansion of airport and Indore-Dahod rail line in the Malwa region.

Madhya Pradesh PWD Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya stressed on the need for starting carrier aircraft service once a week for the central eastern region as it will benefit grapes producers in Ratlam and other exporters in Malwa region.

Bhopal Airport Authority Chairman K Ramlingam said airports in 35 cities apart from metro cities are being modernised. These included Bhopal, Indore and Khajuraho.

The airstrip length at Indore airport has to be increased to 9,000 feet so that Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and Airbus 310 aircraft could land. Besides, six additional parking spots have to be developed at the cost of Rs 80 crore.

A provision of Rs 136 crore has been made to build an airport terminal for providing facility to 700 passengers. The project will be completed by 2009. Later, the airstrip length will be increased to 11,500 feet so that 'E' category aircraft could land.

A scheme has been chalked out to develop airstrip up to a length of 9,000 feet in Bhopal. A provision of Rs 230 crore has been made for constructing airport terminal. Besides, Rs 90 crore would be spent for developing airport in Khajuraho, Rs 40 lakh in Jabalpur and Rs three crore in Gwalior.

MP Sumitra Mahajan and several legislators were present on the occasion.

UNI

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