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Saturday, April 13, 2024

AAI not scouting for new site to shift Umroi airport: Transport Minister

SHILLONG:

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) isn’t scouting another site for a new greenfield airport, informed transport minister Dasakhiat Lamare to the House, on March 16.

Lamare was replying to a cut motion moved by All India Trinamool Congress legislator, George B. Lyngdoh during the budget session of the Assembly.

“The Airport Authority of India has not moved for a new greenfield airport as of now. No proposal was received by the department and even if we do receive in future, we will definitely look into it and will look for the best solution,” Lamare said.

Lyngdoh, referring to a news report that said AAI has moved a proposal to find another site for a greenfield airport to shift the current location from Umroi to another location, questioned the need for such a move given that a lot of resources has been spent by the state government and Centre to expand the current facility to facilitate landing of bigger aircrafts.

As for the involvement of a third party to check the feasibility of the airport’s expansion, Lamare said that nothing has been initiated. “But from time to time, the department has been planning, putting up various strategies to expand the Umroi airport for the betterment of the state. We are still trying to do it, whether looking for a new location or expanding it in the same location, so whichever is a better solution considering the financial constraints we might have,” he said.

Lyngdoh also enquired if proposals were sent to improve the current infrastructure around the Umroi airport, especially for the approach road towards the airport and also for the land acquisition that is required thereof. “Is this new proposal being sent? How much time it will take for the current proposal to be approved by the government?” Lyngdoh asked.

Replying to the Umroi legislator, Lamare said that recently, the department has initiated steps to acquire land and prevent the public from plying through the airport. “This matter will be put up in the Cabinet for approval very soon,” Lamare said.

AITC legislator and leader of opposition, Mukul Sangma asked what are measures put in place to ensure that the Motor Vehicle Act is enforced in letter and spirit.

Replying to points raised by Sangma, Lamare informed that all the measures are in place – be it the checking station and weighbridges at various designated locations. “We are doing our best to prevent overloading and other irregularities in all these bridges,” he said.

Congress MLA Process T Sawkmie asked the transport minister about the shifting of Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) from Police Bazaar to Mawiong, seeking a clear reply on the proposal of construction of shopping mall and parking lot at the new site.

Lamare said, “It is actually a multi-facility centre. It will have accommodation, office spaces, banquet halls and shopping complexes. As soon as these offices are moved to the ISBT, the same will be initiated as fast as possible and will see the light of day very soon.”

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