War of words over delay in Kota greenfield airport development
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) A day after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot blamed the Centre for delays in construction of the proposed greenfield airport in Kota, Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said that "tardy pace" in handing over of the land by the state government has delayed the process of development of the airport.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Scindia said it was unfortunate that Gehlot has made such a misleading statement without having taken the facts of the matter into account.
"Till date, the state government has only allotted 33.4 hectares of land in favor of the AAI out of the total 440 hectares proposed. The process of diversion of remaining land is yet to be carried out by the state in spite of several reminders by MoCA and AAI issued on July 7, July 26, and August 29. It is yet to deposit amounts related to diversion within its own departments," said the Civil Aviation Minister.
"The state government had been apprised of the fact that the process of shifting the power grid line is important for obtaining necessary clearances from relevant regulatory authorities. However, it is still pending at the level of the state," claimed Scindia.
"In spite of this, on our part, we have completed the topographical survey of the site, soil investigation work and a report has been submitted for further action. Work regarding Environmental Clearance has been awarded and a draft EIA report has been submitted to the Regional State Pollution Control Board on July 6 for conducting a public hearing. The same was done on August 25," said Scindia.
"The process for onboarding an agency for conducting Architectural and Engineering consultancy has been initiated," he added.
Slamming the Congress-led Rajasthan government, Scindia said that the back-and-forth, staggered response and tardy pace of handing over of the land by the state government have delayed the process of development of the airport.
"It shows that CM Gehlot is least interested in the development of civil aviation in the state," Scindia added.
On Thursday, Gehlot had conducted an inspection of the prospective Kota greenfield airport location situated in Shambhupura village within the Bundi district.
During his visit, he engaged in discussions with officials to assess the project's current status. Gehlot had emphasised the state government's unwavering commitment to constructing the airport and highlighted that the Urban Improvement Trust (Kota) had generously transferred 34 hectares of land to the Airports Authority of India at no cost.
Additionally, he mentioned that the initial payment of Rs 21.13 crore for the diversion of forest land had been disbursed to the forest department. Despite these significant measures, Gehlot expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the central government had not yet initiated work on the project