Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a domestic airport in Ambala Cantonment, saying it will not only improve connectivity but also spur economic activity.
The civil enclave — a military airbase area allotted for civil aviation use — was sanctioned under the UDAN scheme. The airport — touted as the dream project of Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, a six-time MLA from Ambala Cantonment — will be established on 20 acres, alongside the Air Force Station.
The “bhoomi pujan” and foundation stone laying ceremony was done in the presence of Mr Vij, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, and Rajya Sabha MP Kartikiye Sharma.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khattar said the airport will further increase Haryana’s connectivity with other states and also spur economic activity.
It can also act as a support facility for the Chandigarh airport, he said.
“When an airport comes up, it spurs economic activity and development,” the chief minister said.
The airport, once completed, will also use the already-existing runway of the Ambala Cantonment Airport Station for the landing of commercial aircraft.
Officials said the Union Ministry of Defence has agreed to allow the use of the Air Force airstrip for civil aviation. The ministry also allotted about 20 acres of its land to build the civil enclave, with the Haryana government paying Rs 133 crore.
The Public Works Department of the Haryana government has issued a tender worth Rs 16 crore for the construction of a terminal building.
It has separately approved Rs 25 crore for other works at the airport.
Mr Chautala said a passenger terminal, which can cater to at least 200 people at a time, will come up within six months.
The Haryana government has applied for permission to start flights from Ambala to destinations, including Srinagar, Varanasi, Jaipur, Amritsar and Delhi, under the UDAN scheme.
Mr Vij said once the airport becomes operational, it will also cater to people from western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
The BJP-led government in the state has done a lot of work in Ambala Cantonment and Ambala has made great progress, Mr Vij said.
About the airport project, he said a lot of effort was made to ensure its realisation as it required permission from the Army, Air Force, defence ministry and other departments.
It is a matter of great joy for the people of Ambala that the foundation stone of a very ambitious project has been laid. Every single person in Ambala must thank Khattar for the efforts he made to realise the airport project, the minister said.
It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream that the common man should be able to afford and undertake flight travel and that is why the UDAN scheme was launched, Vij said.
He added that India’s prestige has risen globally under Modi’s leadership.
Mr Vij also lauded Mr Chautala and said he facilitated all permissions that were required.
When an airport comes up, it does not benefit a city alone but the entire region gets a boost, Mr Vij said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)