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UP wants Rs2,000 crore from Centre for Jewar airport project

The Yamuna Expressway authority is facing a fund crunch to start the initial acquisition of 1,000 acres for the project

noida Updated: Jul 27, 2017 23:51 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Greater Noida,Dadri,Jewar airport
After a long wait, the Union civil aviation ministry had on June 24 given its approval to develop an international airport in Jewar.(Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh civil aviation department has written to the state government asking it to discuss the funding pattern of the ‘Noida International Airport’ at Jewar with the Centre at the earliest.

The Union civil aviation ministry had on June 24 given its approval to build an international airport at Jewar. Now, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has sought Rs2,000 crore from the state government to acquire the initial 1,000 hectares of agricultural land for the project. On the whole, the project requires 5,000 hectares.

YEIDA does not have the funds to begin land acquisition, and hence, requires financial help from the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government, which wants the Centre to fund this project that needs an investment of a whopping Rs20,000 crore, according to officials of the YEIDA.

“UP civil aviation department has suggested three options to funding land acquisition for the project. The first option is that the Centre gives Rs2,000 crore for land acquisition. The second is that UP and the Centre share 50% each of the Rs2,000 crore amount. The third option is that the YEIDA and the Airports Authority of India sign a memorandum of understanding to raise Rs200 crore, and raise the remaining Rs1,800 crore through loans,” said Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer, YEIDA.

The YEIDA is facing a fund crunch as it owes Rs3,000 crore to various government bodies and banks. Immediately after approval of the Jewar airport project, it had written to the chief minister seeking funds to begin land acquisition. However, the state government wants the Centre’s help for it.

“As per the third option, YEIDA and the Airports Authority of India will contribute Rs100 crore each so that the two can seek a loan of Rs1,800 crore. However, we do not want to fund Rs100 crore either. Now, the UP government will discuss these issues with the Central government and expedite the project,” said Singh.

Officials at YEIDA said that issues between the state and Central governments regarding the funding pattern should be finalised at the earliest to fast-track the project. If these issues take a long time, then the project is bound to be delayed, they added.

“We need to hire a private consultant to prepare a techno-feasibility study of the airport project. This study is crucial to take it to next stage. However, the consultant will be roped in only after funding pattern is finalised,” Singh said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 23:51 IST