Kolkata, May 20: Her state's finance is not in a good health. But that hasn't stopped Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from pursuing her latest dream, an airport in Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, a report in Anandabazaar Patrika said.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government is hell-bent to set up a new airport in Balurghat even after witnessing how helicopter services to places like Durgapur, Haldia and Shantiniketan have failed to take off.
The two new airway service projects in Cooch Behar and Andal are yet to prove profitable but the Mamata Banerjee government is not bothered about the feasibility of another projects. It has to go since she wants, said the report.
Balurghat has a small airstrip but no aircraft has landed there for a long time. Chief Minister Banerjee wants to revive the abandoned airstrip into an airport even though Balurghat doesn't feature in the Aairports Authority of India's (AAI) list of new airports. The Bengal government had requested the AAI to set up a new airport in Balurghat but after it refused to show any interest, Banerjee herself has taken an initiative to build the airport.
It was because of the chief minister's rigid stand that air services were started from Andal and Cooch Behar. Helicopter services also started from these two places but not many passengers were available on these routes. The service-providers withdrew from Cooch Behar after facing losses. Like Cooch Behar, Balurghat too doesn't have any industries that can cater to a busy flying business.
Not many are hopeful about the future of Balurghat airport either.