Panel pushes for shorter route from Chandigarh to airport

Published on Mar 20, 2021 12:37 AM IST

Parliamentary standing committee has asked MHA to take up the issue with civil aviation and defence ministries on priority

At present, Chandigarh residents have to take a 14.5-km detour through Mohali to reach the airport. (HT FILE PHOTO)
At present, Chandigarh residents have to take a 14.5-km detour through Mohali to reach the airport. (HT FILE PHOTO)
By, Chandigarh

Reviving hopes for a shorter alternative route from the city to the Chandigarh International Airport, the parliamentary standing committee has asked the ministry of home affairs to take up the issue with the civil aviation and defence ministries on priority basis.

Currently, residents have to take a 14.5-km detour through Mohali to reach the airport. The committee in its latest meeting with the UT administration had inquired about the progress made in the approach road to the airport.

The administration informed the committee that earlier road distance from Tribune Chowk to the airport was 2.71 km. Now, the existing route from Tribune Chowk to the airport was 14.52 km through Punjab (Mohali), which was causing difficulty to the residents of Chandigarh as they have to cover more distance and spend more time to reach the Airport.

Administration further informed, to cut short this road distance, certain options were proposed / deliberated, from time to time. One of the options was to connect the old and new terminal through an underpass below the existing runway.

In the Chandigarh Master Plan (CMP) 2031, another proposal of road connectivity to the airport was given from Sector 48 (Purv Marg) through Jagatpura village, which will be approximately 4.7 km from Tribune chowk, thereby reducing the distance by about 10km from Tribune Chowk.

For this proposal, land acquisition may be required in Punjab, so this needs to be done by the Punjab Government, the administration informed the committee.

The Committee noted that the existing route from Tribune Chowk to the Chandigarh International Airport was causing unnecessary inconvenience to the residents of Chandigarh as they had to cover more distance and spend more time to reach the airport.

Punjab had earlier junked underpass

The UT administration’s proposal to construct a tunnel for an alternative shorter route to the airport in Mohali was junked in the Northern Zonal Council meeting held in September 2019.

The administration was pitching for the Centre’s help and contributions from Haryana and Punjab to construct the 1,200-crore underground tunnel connecting Chandigarh directly to the new airport terminal in Mohali.

The proposed route was to cut down the distance for people commuting to the airport from Chandigarh and Panchkula by 10km. But both Haryana and Punjab hadn’t supported the proposal. This was also not agreed upon by the Air Force authorities.

Committee recommendations

The committee has recommended that the MHA may take up the matter with the ministries of civil aviation and defence on priority basis to connect the old and new terminals through an underpass below the existing runway to make it convenient for the people travelling through the airport.

Alternatively, the committee has recommended that the MHA may coordinate with the government of Punjab for making provision of approximately 4.7-km road through Jagatpura village, which will reduce the distance to the airport by about 10 km, and will save the people coming from the city a lot of time.

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