Jewar airport, Maya's dream project, scrapped
UP sets ball rolling for shifting of airport project to either Agra or Mathura.india Updated: May 08, 2012 23:20 IST
Fed up with the Centre's stand on the proposed airport at Jewar in Greater Noida, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided not to go ahead with the aviation project. It was a long-cherished dream of former UP chief minister Mayawati to have a greenfield Taj international airport and aviation hub (TIAH) at Jewar.
The government's decision has come as a shock to residents and realty sector as even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had advocated for the Jewar project. Now the state government is exploring possibilities to set up the facility either at Agra or Mathura.
"The central government, of late, has been saying that an airport cannot come up within 150 km of the one in Delhi. We're left with no other choice," state's industrial development commissioner Anil Kumar Gupta told Hindustan Times from Lucknow on Tuesday evening.
"The state government had been trying to start the project for the past 10 years. If the Centre does not allow it, we cannot keep waiting for another 20 years," Gupta said.
When asked about possible shifting of the project to Agra or Mathura, the industrial development commissioner said, "We have no special love for Agra. After the restriction of 150 km from the Delhi airport, we have to move back. Where does it take us to? The 150-km mark takes us to Mathura. The 200-km mark takes us to Agra. The project has to be in Uttar Pradesh. We cannot go to Faridabad or Chandigarh."
The Centre said an airport at Jewar could not be allowed as it might hamper the business prospects of the existing one in Delhi. "We accepted all conditions. We even said if GMR Group, promoters of IGI Airport in Delhi wants, it can build our airport. The Centre didn't agree," Gupta said.
The state government is asking the district magistrates of Agra and Mathura to identify land. "At Jewar we had not acquired land. The government had reserved it. Now our sole objective is to build an airport where we can actually build it. I have worked in Noida and Greater Noida. I don't think people there are ready to wait for another 50 years," he said.
In 2007, the state government assured the Centre that it would abide by the contractual agreement between the Union civil aviation ministry and the GMR Group and share revenues in case of losses to the existing airport. "But the central government didn't budge," Gupta said.
"We have not yet received official communication from the state government about shelving of the Jewar airport project. If the project is shelved officially, we will make changes to the master plan," said RK Singh, deputy chief executive officer of Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority.