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Rajkot Mayor urges Guj CM to shift Airport to outskirts

Written by: Staff

Rajkot, Mar 6 (UNI) Rajkot Mayor Dhanshukh Bhanderi has urged the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to shift the present Rajkot Airport to the outskirts of the city since it has a short runway and wide-bodied plane cannot land or take off.

Talking to UNI, Mr Bhanderi said, he has written a letter to the Chief Minister in this regard and requested him to look in the future prospects as Rajkot is the commercial hub of Saurashtra and its proximity near ports make it more important.

Rajkot being the central city of Saurashtra has a number of people travelling by air, he said.

The Airport could be shifted to Vavadi, some 15 kms away from the city, Mr Bhanderi added.

The plan to extend the runway of Rajkot airport by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is not served as the airport does not have open space on its sides, leaving little scope for changes, he said.

AAI has decided to extend the runway but if it happens, the Rajkot-Jamnagar highway which is passing near the airport has to be shortened by 1.2 km, or the road will have to be curved by one km, Mr Bhanderi added.

Rajkot Municipal Corporation has not only to look into the shortning of road but also has to change the exisiting under drainage system and water lines too. It will cost nearly Rs three crore which will be incurred by the AAI, he said.

Meanwhile, Airport Senior Manager (ATM) Vinod Kumar Samra, is against the move of shifting the Airport to other place. He told UNI over phone that the AAI has already taken a decision to extend the present Airport runway by 700 feet and 2.10 metre in width.

Presently the runway is 6,000 feet and is too short for wide-bodied jets to land or take off.

To a query on the land for the extention purpose, he said, the vital part it will be acquired from the Railway and initiative in this regard is already on process.

''We will start work as soon as we acquire the land from the railway,'' he said.

Our endeavour is to provide best service to the passangers and after extention of the runway, we will be able to provide 320-Air bus serivce to the passangers, Mr Samra said.

The total expenditure for the extention of runway will accrue about Rs 50 crore, he added.


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