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Yogi Govt to fly high with Jewar magic carpet

PPP model to develop many more airports

Yogi Adityanath also plans to redevelop the 2nd World War airstrips

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

LUCKNOW, July 9 (The CONNECT) - After signing the Jewar international airport concession agreement with Swiss major Zurich Airport International (Zurich AG), the Uttar Pradesh government is now looking to adopt the same public private partnership (PPP) template to develop and redevelop other airport projects.

In the Jewar model, while nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is tasked with acquiring and later transferring land to the concessionaire, on its part Zurich AG will design, develop and operate the proposed airport under a 40-year concession period.

Zurich AG will invest more than Rs 4,500 crore in the first phase of the project itself, which is expected to decongest New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) and act as a catalyst for speedy industrial development in the entire region. It is positioned as an aviation hub to cater both the passengers and cargo segments.

Earlier this week, UP civil aviation minister Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi had directed officials to explore the possibility of espousing the PPP template followed in Jewar to develop and run other airports in the state. The department will coordinate with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and then hold parleys with major developers in this regard.

To broad-base air connectivity and boost air travel, UP is only too keen to roll-out its ambitious roadmap of setting up new airports as also to redevelop the 2nd World War airstrips.

In March, the UP government had firmed up a State Support Agreement (SSA) with Swiss concessionaire Zurich Airport International (Zurich AG) for the Jewar project.

The pact was signed between Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) and Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), the special purpose vehicle launched by Zurich AG to develop the mega project in Gautam Buddha Nagar district. The concession agreement with Zurich AG was signed on October 7, 2020.

Since Jewar airport is one of the state’s flagship projects, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had even warned against any slackness or red tape, which could potentially delay its development. The mega project had been hanging fire for nearly 30 years before it was expedited under the current regime, which came to power in March 2017.

According to the techno-economic feasibility report, the Jewar airport would handle 70 million passengers and 3 million tonnes cargo annually when fully developed in phases.

Moreover, the state government is also weighing the option of setting up an airport in the arid region of Bundelkhand, which will soon be connected with an expressway project, Rs 15,000 crore Bundelkhand Expressway, whose foundation was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 29, 2020.

Meanwhile, the development and redevelopment works on various airports projects in UP is underway, which will greatly augment the number of operational airports in UP. These airports are located in all the major cities including Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Agra, Bareilly, Aligarh, Jhansi, Ayodhya etc. An international airport is also proposed at Kushinagar.

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