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Domestic flights from Punjab: HC gives Centre last chance to file response

The high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Darshan Singh observed that if the flights could not be run regularly, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) should return the land of farmers.

punjab Updated: May 19, 2017 18:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Pathankot airport,Bathinda airport,Ludhiana airport
The PIL seeking start of domestic flights from three airports of Punjab — Bathinda, Ludhiana and Pathankot — to Delhi was filed by advocate petitioner HC Arora .(HT File Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday gave a last chance to the Centre to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking start of domestic flights from three airports of Punjab — Bathinda, Ludhiana and Pathankot — to Delhi.

The high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Darshan Singh observed that if the flights could not be run regularly, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) should return the land of farmers.

The PIL was filed by advocate petitioner HC Arora seeking direction to the Centre to commence flights to Delhi from these three airports.

The central government counsel told the court that under the ‘Udan Scheme’ launched recently, small aircraft are being run between the airports of Bathinda /Ludhiana and New Delhi, twice a week. Under the scheme, the private airlines, having smaller aircraft with around 50 seats, have been given incentives by way of lower fuel charges, lower excise duty, exemption from landing charges and hanger facility charges, the court was told.

But the court noted that the Centre had not been able to file a written response to the PIL. “Soon these new flights will meet the fate of flights from Chandigarh International Airport. You better return the land, acquired for these airports, to concerned farmers,” the bench observed.

Later, the bench agreed to give one more chance to the Centre to file its response after intervention from additional solicitor general Satya Pal Jain and adjourned the matter to May 26.

First Published: May 11, 2017 09:17 IST