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Flights from Jharsuguda Airport to start during first week of Feb 2018




 In a bid to expedite the pace of State’s economic growth, target has been set to start regional connectivity flights from Jharsuguda Airport during first week of February, 2018, said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

Chairing the State Level Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting here today in the presence of Principal Secretary General Administration Ashok Kumar Meena along with Director Civil Aviation  Pradeep Kumar Biswal, Padhi said the infrastructure of Air Strip at Rourkela is now UDAN ready. The Obstacle and Limitation Surface (OLS) Survey of all the four airports have been completed. The chief secretary directed to expedite the process for finalization of operational details for Rourkela Airport. He also directed to make Utkela and Jeypore strip UDAN ready by March, 2018.

Director General of Police Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma apprised that around 135 police and 27 fire personnel from the State government have already been trained for providing security and fire services in the regional air ports.  Available data show that five airstrips of Odisha including Biju Patnaik International Airport have been selected for Phase-I of Regional Connectivity Scheme ( RCS)-UDAN.  Other four airstrips are Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Utkela (Kalahandi) and Jeypore (Koraput). From among these, Biju Patnaik International Air Port, Bhubaneswar will serve as mentor airport for RCS. Jharsuguda airport has been developed under joint aegis of Airports Authority of India and the Government of Odisha.

Rourkela airstrip will be operated by AAI with security and fire personnel support from the State government. The other airstrips at Jeypore and Utkela are being developed with funding from both the State government and Airports Authority of India. The flight operator company appraised that regional connectivity from Kolkata to Rourkela has been scheduled to be started from January 23, 2018. The flight from Jharsuguda is scheduled take-up from Jharsuguda during first week of February, 2018. This flight will connect Jharsuguda, Raipur and Jagdalpur.

Notably, the State government is providing both the manpower and financial support to make the regional connectivity scheme viable during initial periods.  The State government has decided to reduce VAT from 5 pc to 1 pc and provide 20 pc of the Viable Gap Funding. The State government is also providing land, security and fire services.  The electricity and water would also be provided at minimum rate. The State government has decided to provide these subsidies and financial assistance for regional air connectivity as a part of its ‘Make in Odisha’ initiative.  It is expected that such subsidies and financial assistance will keep the ticket cost at affordable level. Sources say, the average price of a ticket to be paid by the passengers for these flights would be around Rs 2,500.

The routes like Bhubaneswar to Utkela, Utklela to Raipur, Bhubaneswar to Jeypore, Bhubaneswar to Jharsuguda, Jharsuguda to Ranchi, and Bhubaneswar to Rourkela have been suggested for regional connectivity.  






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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