Construction Of New Airport Terminal Building At Agra Hits Another Legal Hurdle
Agra, July 3 (TNA) Yet another legal hurdle has delayed the construction of a new terminal building at Agra’s Kheria airport. The local tourism industry sees this as a major setback. Industry leaders have expressed deep concern over delay in the construction of the new airport terminal at Kheria. Ahead of the new tourist season beginning September, it was hoped that Agra would be ready with a new terminal building to welcome guests from India and abroad.
More than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic have hit the tourism sector badly. This year, some revival has been seen, as reflected in the steady rise in the number of visitors to the Taj Mahal and other monuments in the city. However, in a major setback, work on the new terminal building of the Agra airport at Kheria Air Force base, has again been stalled, due to a pending court case.
In an RTI filed by eminent lawyer KC Jain, this information has been given causing concern in tourism circles. The reply to the RTI said “A terminal building of area 30,000 sqm to handle 700 passengers in peak hour at construction cost of Rs 398 Crore was planned. The scheme is dropped for time being as Environment Clearance couldn’t be obtained due to a court case.
Modification Application has been filed in Supreme Court of India. The land has been acquired and boundary wall constructed. Work will be re-planned after Environment Clearance is obtained.” Senior Supreme Court Advocate KC Jain said, this was a serious setback. While smaller cities were getting their airports at a brisk pace, Agra has been denied the facility for unexplained reasons. The Taj city draws over eight million tourists annually.
Presently, the Kheria airport of Agra, is being partially used. Only five cities are air connected with Agra, Bangaluru, Bhopal, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. The tourism sector is demanding international connectivity, and more flights to to Goa, Indore, Kolkatta and Delhi. The air strip belongs to the Air Force. This causes lot of inconvenience to passengers. The terminal building being used looks like a roadways bus stand.
Some years ago, a project for a bigger international level terminal building was taken up to allow for direct access, without entering the Air Force base station. But construction is held up for more than a year.