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Chennai and Kolkata airport modernisation decision in a month: Patel

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Sep 11 (UNI) The Government will take a final decision on modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata airports within a month while merger of the state-owned Indian Airlines and Air India will be completed by March next, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today said.

'' We will take a final decision on modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata within a month,'' Mr Patel told a press conference after the Consultative Committee meeting here.

His comments came as the process for modernising both the airports had been put on the fast track with the Centre planning to complete consultations with Tamil Nadu and West Bengal governments paving way for drawing a roadmap.

While Tamil Nadu favours private participation on the line of Delhi and Mumbai and the West Bengal government wants the work to be done by the AAI.

Mr Patel said Kolkata alone would be needing Rs 2,000 crore for modernisation of its airport.

In August last year, the Prime Minister's Infrastructure Committee had given green signal to the proposed modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata airports. Finance Minister P Chidambaram also said, while presenting the Economic Survey in February this year that an ''in-principle'' decision had been taken to modernise the Chennai airport through the joint venture route.

Mr Patel, however, said his Ministry was yet to take a final stand on whether the Airport Authority of India (AAI) or private parties would fund the proposed modernisation of these two airports.

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