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Centre agrees to grant Rs 10 cr to revive Behala airport

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, July 3 (UNI) The Centre along with the West Bengal government has embarked on a project to revive the closed Behala Airport and flying club in the Southern outskirts of the city at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

Announcing the revival package of the small airport, closed since 1997, state Transport Minsiter Subhash Chakraborty told the Assembly today that the Centre had agreed to provide the sum for reviving the defunct airport while the state government had decided to provide the necessary infrastructural support to this effect in a time-bound manner.

He said the state government had floated tenders for construction of additional runways and some hangars of small aircraft in the Behala airport. The tender papers would be open to select the final executees project.

Further elaborating, he said in order to boost the aviation as well as tourism sector in the state, his government was also trying to revive the Cooch Behar airport situated at Amdanga on the outskirts of North Bengal by reconstructing its existing runway, besides increasing its length.

''We have also initiated steps under private-public partnership to start an air cargo terminal near the Delhi-Mumbai road, about 25 to 30 km from here.'' Incidentally, Mr Chakraborty had approached Reliance Ambani's Chairman Mukesh Ambani regarding this project and sought his help for equity participation in the scheme.

Mr Chakraborty said ''Plans were afoot to start a Kolkata-Cooch Behar-Guwahati daily flight by the year end when the proposed reconstruction and the lenghthening of the runway at Cooch Behar airport would be completed.

UNI ABA SP KK CS SSC1448

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