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Hindon civil terminal operational: Traffic, local commuting are concerns

cities Updated: Oct 11, 2019 20:18 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Ghaziabad: With the civil terminal facility at Hindon air force station becoming operational on Friday, it is expected to reduce the burden on Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport as people now have the option of taking domestic flights from Hindon.

However,traffic and local commuting still remain major concerns and must be resolved.

The first flight from the civil terminal took off from the Hindon airstrip on Friday afternoon for Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand and the passengers expressed satisfaction about the services available at the newly developed terminal.

“My son drove me from Delhi to the terminal. The facilities there are good and the Hindon elevated road provided easy connectivity to Ghaziabad. However, we found heavy traffic on the main road leading to the airport,” Kishor Pahwa, one of the passengers aboard the maiden flight said.

Shobha Bhardwaj, the director of the civil terminal, said owing to traffic issues, passengers must reach the check-in area at least two hours before the flight departure.

“Traffic is chaotic on the main road outside the civil terminal. Further, there is no local transport available for passengers in case (s)he has no private vehicle. We have a parking facility with a capacity for 90 cars. We will shortly open a car rental counter for passengers,” she said.

The civil terminal is spread over an area of about 22,050 square metres and has good connectivity from Delhi via the 10.3km Hindon elevated road. However, a 6km stretch, from the end point of the Hindon elevated road to the civil terminal, is marred by traffic issues. The turning point for passengers to enter the 1.25km road leading to the terminal is also not properly designed.

“There was a proposal for widening the intersection of the main road and the civil terminal road by one lane each. Besides, it was also proposed that two U-turns will be constructed. However, the cost for these was about ₹8-9 crore and so the agencies backed out,” VN Singh, chief engineer, Ghaziabad Development Authority, said.

The Ghaziabad district magistrate said he will soon take up traffic issues with the agencies concerned.

“We will get the traffic and intersection issues sorted out. On Friday evening, we also held discussions with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials about our proposal to start flight for two popular routes — to Lucknow and Prayagraj. Further, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath also arrived at Hindon on Friday evening and expressed satisfaction with the terminal,” Dr Ajay Shankar Pandey, Ghaziabad district magistrate, said.

“We have also asked AAI officials to send a proposal so that the land of the terminal, which is presently taken on a three-year lease, can be purchased from farmers. This is to make the terminal a permanent facility,” he said.

The internal security of the civil terminal has been assigned to 55 personnel, including a circle officer who is officiating as the civil aviation security officer at present.

“We have installed two X-ray machines at the front counters and two at the gates. The electricity department officials have assured us of uninterrupted supply but we also have generator sets for backup,” Bhardwaj said.

The passengers as well as Ajay Tamta, MP from Almora in Uttarakhand, said airlines should think for using larger planes.

“The flight operations will be game changer as it will save passengers time and a tiring journey. However, it would be more beneficial if bigger planes, having at least 20 seats, can be used. This is because there are thousands of people from Uttarakhand who reside in Delhi-NCR and will be making use of the facility,” he said.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 20:18 IST

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