The proposed Jewar international airport has moved a step ahead with the ministry of defence giving formal no-objection certificate for the ambitious project in Greater Noida.
The proposed Jewar international airport has moved a step ahead with the ministry of defence giving formal no-objection certificate for the ambitious project in Greater Noida, adjoining the National Capital Region of Delhi.
According to sources, the NOC was given only last month after BJP MP from Gautam Buddh Nagar and former minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma sought a push for developing airports in small towns as part of regional air connectivity scheme (RCS). Sharma has been pressing for the project, more so in the wake of ensuing UP assembly elections due in about six to eight months.
The Jewar airport, conceptualised to ease growing traffic congestion in New Delhi IGI airport had incidentally got all clearances way back in 2003. The project, however, was put on hold during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government because of the clause that barred an airport to come up within 150km radius of the existing Delhi airport, which has been built and is being operated by GMR Infrastructure-led consortium Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).
Even as the project got delayed consistently, Centre came up with a new civil aviation policy in 2011. When Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav stormed to power in UP in 2012, it contemplated shelving the project in Jewar while proposing a new one in Agra or Mathura.
The project, however, revived once again after BJP MP Mahesh Sharma started pressing for an international airport in his parliamentary constituency. “Eventually, state government had to start all over again,” said a senior UP government official. The project got AAI nod, while UP government was asked by the Centre to push the project afresh before the MoD. “The project will now need clearance from the steering committee of the ministry of civil aviation,” said a senior official in the civil aviation department.
Jewar airport project has been competing with the one proposed in Rajasthan’s Bhiwandi district, which also comes under the NCR. In fact, the ministry of civil aviation has already given its clearance to the Bhiwandi airport project last year. The Jewar airport project was also taken up keenly by the previous Mayawati government in UP. In fact, the project was one of the key features builders and real estate bodies used to lure the buyers with to invest in the upcoming residential and commercial projects.