After detailed deliberations between J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia, a slew of announcements have been made to strengthen the aviation infrastructure in the Union Territory, officials said on Saturday.
Sinha said that Scindia and the J&K government have agreed to start the first international flight between Srinagar and Sharjah soon, ending the long-pending demand of the UT to have direct international connectivity.
Scindia also announced that two new airport terminals will be established in Jammu and Kashmir soon.
The Minister said that an airport terminal worth Rs 1,500 crore shall be established on 25,000 square metres in Kashmir, while an another airport terminal worth Rs 650 crore shall be established in Jammu on 22,000 square metres land size.
“Similarly, the runway at the Jammu airport has been enhanced and 30 per cent load penalty at Jammu airport will be removed from October 1. It will provide huge relief to the airlines and passengers. We have also decided to build a new airport terminal adjacent to the existing airport in Jammu. The land measuring 122 acres has already been identified. It will soon be handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to build a state-of-the-art 25,000 sq mt new terminal building,” said J&K LG Manoj Sinha.
Scindia said that his ministry and the UT government are working on increasing maximum flight operations catering to the growing tourism, industry sectors of the UT.
“Necessary steps will also be taken on priority to increase helicopter services, especially in the far-flung districts of the UT on the lines of Uttarakhand,” he added.
He said that since a special focus is being given on development of both air and road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, a major road network including highways, ring road, tunnels and other projects are being constructed across Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Minister said that the development of connectivity shall bring more tourists to J&K and promote local craft. He said that the promotion of tourism and crafts will boost economic activity and prosperity of people of J&K.
Speaking on cargo facility being built in the UT at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore, the Union minister said that it will be ready soon and will facilitate the traders and business community of the UT.