Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, March 24
Ludhiana, known as the Manchester of India, will soon have its own international airport. The facility is coming up at the Halwara Air Force Station, which is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
While the tender document for the construction of new terminal building and associated works has been finalised, the construction of boundary wall and approach road is underway and almost 50 per cent complete.
The tentative cost of the civil terminal conclave to be spread across 135 acres, worked out by the Public Works Department (Buildings & Roads), is Rs 58 crore, which is subject to change by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Rs 11.31 crore is being spent on the construction of 630-metre-long boundary wall (Rs 3.01 crore) and 5.1-km-long and 5.5-metre-wide approach road (Rs 8.3 crore).
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan reviewed the progress of the project at a virtual meeting with the district officials here recently and discussed the issues concerning the ongoing work, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma told The Tribune here on Wednesday.
The Chief Secretary directed the district administration to ensure quality control and timely completion of the project.
“We have fixed November 10 as the target date for the completion of the project, following which the process to start the international flights from here will commence,” disclosed the Deputy Commissioner.
He said the tender document for terminal building, prepared by the PWD (B&R), was sent to the AAI for comments and observations, following which the work would be allotted likely in May. The estimated time limit for the completion of work was six months.
With the construction of the approach road and boundary wall almost at the halfway mark, they were targeted to be complete by May 31 (road) and June 9 (wall).
The decision to build a new international airport in the Maximum City of Punjab was taken after the state government had raised the demand with the Centre sometime back, following which the AAI conducted a pre-feasibility study of the Halwara IAF station and gave nod to set up international civil enclave here to meet the growing demand for civil flight operations.
The existing Ludhiana domestic airport at Sahnewal will be closed once the flight operations commence at the new civil enclave in Halwara.
The project entails building an interim arrangement to attend to immediate requirement of making international flights available to the residents of Ludhiana, which was the state’s largest industrial and business city with a population of nearly two millions, by the end of this year.
The interim terminal building will be pre-fabricated steel structure with modern outlook, spread over 2,000 sq km area with 3,800 sq m canopy space having a seating capacity of 300 passengers.
The PWD (B&R) is the main executing agency, while a private firm has been hired for architectural design of the project.
The scope of the project includes a new terminal building along with the ancillary facilities like apron taxiway extensions, substation, boundary wall and approach road.
“The terminal will be a state-of-the-art building as per norms and requirements of the AAI while the apron will be suitable to park one AB321-200 type aircraft and widening of taxi track and car park will accommodate 75 cars,” the DC revealed.
The common concourse area will have provision for snack bar, toilets, AC switch room, drinking water, separate toilets for men and women, first-aid room, supporting office for the AAI and airlines. The check-in area will comprise four check-in counters, adequate queuing space, and baggage conveyor belt with storing space for 50 baggage trolleys.
Besides flight information display system with adequate number of display devices in departure, arrival and security hold area for passenger facilitation, adequate number of X-ray machines for scanning baggage with required number of security equipment will be installed as per the AAI norms.
Divulging details, the ADC (Projects), Dr Neeru Katyal Gupta, said the present work of the airport comprises three elements — construction of boundary wall, terminal building and widening of existing approach road from Aitiana village to the Halwara airbase.
“Before the construction of a regular terminal, an interim building will come up to begin the airport operations here,” she informed, while adding that 161.28 acres of land, comprising 135.54 acres for airport and 25.74 acres for future development, had already been acquired.
Dr Gupta revealed that an alternate approach road to the airport from the Delhi-Katra expressway was also under proposal by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
TERMINAL CONCLAVE SPREAD IN 135 ACRES
- The tentative cost of the civil terminal conclave to be spread across 135 acres, worked out by the Public Works Department (Buildings & Roads), is Rs58 crore, which is subject to change by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
- A total of Rs11.31 cr is being spent on the construction of 630-m-long boundary wall (Rs3.01 c) & 5.1-km-long & 5.5-m-wide approach road (Rs8.3 cr).