Ludhiana, September 12
Work on the future Halwara International Airport in Ludhiana has been stalled for five months.
This is despite the fact that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) decided in July to take over the construction of the interim terminal balance works and related works at a cost of Rs 47 crore.
Work has been halted since May after the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), which was previously mandated by the state government to bear the expenses, failed to release the funds.
Subsequently, the state government had approached the AAI, which had agreed to bear the cost of the balancing works on the international airport here.
At its meeting held on July 22, the board of directors of Ludhiana International Airport Limited (LIAL), a joint venture formed by the AAI to undertake the project, decided to balance the work of the temporary terminal building, the apron, taxi lane and related works at Halwara Airport will be taken over by AAI.
“The estimated cost of the development of the interim balance infrastructure, including the construction of an interim terminal of more than 2,000 square meters, the construction of an apron, the connecting taxi lane and the works related (balance works) will be prepared by AAI,” read the minutes of the LIAL board meeting. , a copy of which is available from The Tribune.
LIAL had solved this problem after the state government asked the AAI to take over the balancing work.
The state government had also hinted to the AAI that the land transfer for the current airport was complete.
“The completion of the construction of the interim terminal and related works is essential for the operationalization of Halwara airport and the transfer of operations from the existing Ludhiana airport,” the board decided in principle. by LIAL.
The AAI’s decision was also communicated to the Lok Sabha by the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, on July 28.
A visit to the Air Force Station at Halwara, which is one of the oldest Indian Air Force (IAF) frontline airbases, near Ludhiana – where the Government of Punjab and AAI were jointly installing a new international civilian terminal, Monday revealed that except for a few guards, there were no manpower or machinery at the site and work was at a standstill . The wild bloom has spread to the project site in the absence of any work being done.
Having not yet been officially notified of the AAI taking over the balance work, the PWD, which was the lead implementing agency, again raised the request for funds ahead of GLADA, but to no avail. .
In a final communication to the Chief Administrator (CA) of GLADA, the PWD (B&R) reiterated that the two contractors have submitted invoices to the department for payment of work they have already carried out on the project, but in Due to non-release of funds, payments could not be made.
The department also noted that the relocation of utilities, including utility poles and transformers, from the project site has also been stalled due to lack of funds.
The communication stated categorically that despite repeated requests, no funds had yet been released, as a result of which there were great difficulties in undertaking the project works and moving utilities from the project site.
The PWD (B&R) has requested the immediate release of funds for the project, which falls under one of the government’s priority sectors, without further delay, to ensure the timely completion of the project works and avoid any litigation in the future.
GLADA CA, Amarpre, and Kaur Sandhu when contacted stated that future funding for the project will be provided by the IAA.
Coordination with AAI: DC
The deputy commissioner said the state government is coordinating with the AAI to secure the necessary funds to resume work on the airport project at the earliest.