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Groundbreaking of airport this year: Dholera chief

International airport to be developed at a cost of Rs 2,125 crore: Jai Prakash Shivahare

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Work on the international airport at Dholera, about 100 km from Ahmedabad, is set to commence soon with a senior government official saying on Friday that groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed project is likely to take place this year itself.

"All approvals for the Dholera airport are in place. We have received approvals from ministry of defence and civil aviation. Now that the government of India has agreed to finance this project, it will take off. We expect that the groundbreaking ceremony will take place some time this year," Jai Prakash Shivahare, CEO of Dholera Special Investment Region Development Authority, told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

Dholera airport is one of the five Greenfield airports approved by the central governments recently. It is being developed as a second airport for Ahmedabad, necessitated by growing air traffic. Moreover, it would also cater to Saurashtra region.

The airport is being developed as a part of Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), envisaged to emerge as a manufacturing hub. Works of more than Rs2,500 crore - related to roads, water and sewage treatment plants, administrative building, river bunding, and others - are in progress, and are targeted to be completed by September next year.

According to officials, the Dholera airport would be developed with an investment of Rs2,125 crore. The state government has earmarked 1,423 hectare land for the airport. The airport would have two runways, one of 2,910 metre and the second of 4,000 metre.

Shivahare said that though the airport would be 80 km away from western Ahme-dabad, the travelling time would be almost the same as to the existing airport. "A six-lane expressway is planned between Ahmedabad and Dholera, which would bring down the travel time to about an hour. This is approximately the same time one needs to reach the existing airport during peak hours," he said. He said that the state and Centre would spend over Rs15,000 crore for connectivity between Ahmedabad and Dholera. This includes Rs7,000 crore for Mass Rapid Transit System, Rs7,000 crore for the expressway, and over Rs2,000 crore for the airport itself.

"A railway line is also being laid between Bhimnath and Dholera which would cost about Rs300 crore," he said. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) would hold majority stake in the airport JV in which the state government would also hold a significant stake. Shivahare said that financial model of the project was being finalised.

READY TO TAKE OFF

  • Dholera airport is one of the five Greenfield airports approved recently by the central government.
     
  • The airport is being developed as a part of Dholera SIR, envisaged to emerge as a manufacturing hub.
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