MP Raju Bista stress on land for Bagdogra airport

MP Raju Bista stress on land for Bagdogra airport
Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bista said on Monday that he hoped the Bengal government would “rise above politics” and fast-track the transfer of land required for the expansion of the Bagdogra airport in an indirect blame on the state by the legislator for the delay in the development of additional infrastructure.
At a meeting of the advisory committee of the airport, which handled over two-and-a-half million passengers last fiscal, the MP said the expansion was an immediate need.
“I am hopeful that the government will rise above politics and expedite the process of the handing over the land as the expansion is for larger benefit of the people and development of north Bengal as a whole,” said Bista, who is the chairman of the advisory committee.
“The existing infrastructure can handle around 7.5 lakh passengers (in a fiscal). But these days, it is handling over two million passengers,” he added. 

As of now, eight airlines operate around 35 flights a day.
The AAI needs 105 acres for the expansion of the airport. The land acquisition was delayed as the state made it clear that the Centre would have to provide funds for the purchase as around 94 acres were required to be acquired from a tea estate. This made the AAI allot Rs 25 crore for compensation.
After Bista’s comments, Darjeeling district magistrate Deepap Priya P. was asked about the time needed for the transfer of land to the AAI. “It is almost done but will take some more time,” she said.
As part of the expansion, a new terminal that can handle around 3,800 passengers an hour, 10 aerobridges, more aprons, a larger parking space, more check-in counters and a larger security hold area have been planned, sources said.
The airport advisory committee met on Monday after a gap of nine years.
Sankar Malakar, the Congress MLA of Matigara-Naxalbari, under which the airport falls, said the delay in the expansion was because of former Darjeeling MPs.
“The UPA government had in 2004 decided to constitute advisory committees at airports. But former MPs have not called any meeting of the committee at Bagdogra in the past nine years. It is good that finally a meeting has been held,” said Malakar.

Additional reporting by Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling 
https://www.telegraphindia.com

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Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bista said on Monday that he hoped the Bengal government would “rise above politics” and fast-track the transfer of land required for the expansion of the Bagdogra airport in an indirect blame

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