Amritsar, Nov 3 (UNI) Ministers, MPs and MLAs of Majha region today jointly demanded retention of flights, lowering of landing charges, early clearance of duty drawbacks and completion of expansion work at Raja Sansi airport here.
Stressing that nearly double the landing charges in Amritsar were making flights from this airport unviable for various airlines, they urged that the Ministry immediately make the charges lesser than the Delhi airport.
This would decongest the Delhi Airport besides helping the NRI population of Punjab, as at least 29 per cent of international air traffic at Delhi was from Punjab, they added.
The leaders, led by Member Parliament Ratan Singh Ajnala and Information and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia today called on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal requesting him to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Civil Aviation Minister Prafull Patel and Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath in this regard.
They elaborated that presently Union Civil Aviation Ministry was charging Rs.1.54 lakh landing charges per flight in Amritsar from Singapore Airlines as compared to Rs 75,000 charged by Delhi Airport.
Similarly, Jet Airways was shelling out Rs 94,000 as compared to Rs 69,000 paid by them in Delhi, thus making the flight operations financially unattractive.
The legislators also stressed that the discontinuation of flights from Amritsar would hurt the business besides causing inconvenience to the pilgrims coming to Sri Darbar Sahib and Mata Vaishno Devi.
The Legislators also brought to the notice of Chief Minister that Rs 140 crore expansion work of Raja Sansi Airport was to be completed by 31st October, 2008 but till date not even 40 per cent of work had been completed causing inconvenience to passengers and requested the CM to write to Union Minister to get the work of airport completed at an early date.
Majha legislators also wanted the Chief Minister to urge Union Commerce Minister to issue requisite notifications so that duty drawback claims for cargo booked from Raja Sansi Airport were cleared within 7 days as was being done in Delhi Airport.
They said that presently duty drawback claims from Amritsar Airport were cleared in 3 to 4 months discouraging businessmen from opting for this airport.
The Chief Minister assured the delegation that he would take up these issues with Prime Minister for their early solution.
UNI JN RL AS2002