**Bhubaneswar:** Keeping an eye on the target date of June 2018 to completely refurbish the already existing Jharsuguda Aerodrome based at Durlaga in Jharsuguda district and near to the district headquarters town of Jharsuguda, a review meeting of the work progress for the purpose was held at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday.
Soon after the review meeting, Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi briefed media, “We’re hopeful that the Jharsuguda Airport will be ready in all respects by June 2018 as per the target of Airport Authority of India (AAI). Today’s meeting mainly discussed on land acquisition meant for the purpose”.
The Chief Secretary informed that it is a joint venture with the AAI and around Rs 75 crore has been invested by the State Government besides giving land.
“Both Jharsuguda Collector and SP also joined the meeting through video conference,” the Chief Secretary said.
Interacting with media after the meeting, Bhubaneswar Airport Director-in-Charge Loknath Padhi informed, “As per the MoU inked between Odisha Government and AAI, total 119 acres is to be given by the State Government free of cost out of which 106 acres of land has already been given, 12 acres to be given for which construction of boundary wall has stopped at some stretches. For the boundary wall construction, Rs 75 crore has been provided by Odisha”.
Padhi also informed that the Chief Secretary asked the AAI at the meeting to return the 99 acres of land in possession of it.
On the 99 acres of land to be returned, Padhi further informed media, “A proposal was earlier given to State by AAI not to hand over the 99 acres and instead construct hotels, commercial complexes as found at modern airports, but the Chief Secretary at today’s meeting directed to return the 99 acres”.
He also informed that construction will be in two phases. However, currently work is on for operating Airbus 320 while in future going by the passenger growth, the second phase work will be taken up for wide-bodied aircraft.