Puri International Airport Soon to Operate
As per the state official sources, Puri's International Airport is scheduled to open to travelers in the upcoming six months, with the expectation that the land acquisition process will be finished at the same time.
According to a government official, the land acquisition process for the Sri Jagannath International Airport in Puri is moving forward and should be finished in the upcoming six months, as of Monday, January 8. The 1,164 acre international airport is anticipated to cost roughly Rs 5,631 crore.
Of the total land area, 68 acres are forest land, and 221.48 acres are privately owned in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur under the Brahmagiri tehsil. There are currently efforts underway to acquire the remaining 221.48 acres of private land, totaling over 961 acres of land that have already been acquired.
“We will complete the land acquisition in the next 6 months,” mentioned an official involved in the land acquisition process. 68.11 acres in Sandhapur and 153.37 acres in Sipasarubali comprise the private land needed for the project. Plans are also underway for the rehabilitation and relocation of the indigenous population and Puri International Airport opening date will be decided soon.
After identifying the land and conducting a favorable Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) survey, the project proposal was presented at a public hearing regarding the purchase of private land. When asked about the construction timeline, the official stated, “We are awaiting a few more clearances. It would start soon.”
The Sri Jagannath International Airport project received site clearance approval last year from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). This approval followed a year after the government filed all required paperwork with the ministry in accordance with the 2008 Greenfield Airports (GFA) Policy.
The proposed Puri International Airport in Odisha is primarily intended to serve the Puri area. As of right now, the airport that is closest to Puri is the Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar. It is located approximately 64.6 kilometers away from Jagannath Puri, a heritage city.
To promote Jagannath culture, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik lobbied Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021 to build an international airport in Puri. Since then, Patnaik has regularly brought up the matter with Prime Minister Modi, highlighting the importance of the planned airport for the area.
The Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme, which aims to improve the basic infrastructure in Puri town, which is well-known for the Lord Jagannath Temple, recently received approval from the Odisha Cabinet on June 21. The approval increased the total cost outlay by ₹1,000 crore.
When this scheme was launched during 2017-18 to develop Puri, the State Cabinet had a cost outlay of ₹3,208 crore. As a result, it is now one of the biggest state-sponsored initiatives for the construction of a place of worship.
Under the auspices of the ABADHA scheme, various projects are being undertaken, including the development of the heritage security zone surrounding the 12th-century Shree Jagannath Temple, the Shree Setu project, the development of Puri lakes, the upgradation of Raghunandan Library, the redevelopment of Acharya Harihar square, the development of Atharnala heritage, the Matha Development Initiative, and the development of heritage lakes.
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