The Odisha government is yet to send a proposal with regard to the proposed Greenfield international airport at Puri in the prescribed format to the union civil aviation ministry.
In a written reply to a query by BJD member Pinaki Mishra, the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation General VK Singh informed this in Lok Sabha in a written reply recently.
“On the request of the State Government of Odisha, a multi-disciplinary Team from Airports Authority of India (AAI) visited Puri in June 2021 for conducting a pre-feasibility study of the site identified by the State Government for the establishment of a Greenfield Airport. The report of the visit by the Team has been sent to the Government of Odisha on 5 August 2021. The responsibility of implementation of the airport project, including necessary approvals from the Government of India, rests with the concerned project proponent i.e. the State Government. So far, no proposal in the prescribed Performa for the establishment of a Greenfield Airport at Puri has been received by the Ministry of Civil Aviation”, union minister Singh told the Lok Sabha.
It is pertinent to note here that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up this airport as a priority project by iterating that Puri being home to Lord Jagannath has immense potential to become a hub for spiritual tourism and economic activities. The proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the globe to Puri and will help promote Jagannath culture across the world, Patnaik had maintained.
However the lack of seriousness on part of the Odisha government towards the project could be gauged from the fact that State authorities are yet to make compliance with the centre on the Airport Authority of India’s report submitted in August last, it is being widely believed.