MP seeks central funds for Shimla airport restoration

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 11:50 hrs

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh MP Pratibha Singh Wednesday called on union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh here and informed him that the runway of the Shimla airport had shrunk and sought central assistance of Rs.142 crore for its restoration.

"The runway length has been reduced to 3,800 feet from the original 4,100 feet because of soil erosion. For restoration of basic strip and arresting soil erosion, the state needs Rs.142.70 crore," she said.

IIT-Roorkee had conducted a feasibility study and the civil aviation ministry also held a meeting but no action was taken in this regard, an official statement quoting her said.

She said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had recently engaged Rites Ltd, a government of India enterprise, as consultant for exploring measures for restoration and widening of the airstrip.

She requested the union minister to direct AAI to take up restoration work at the earliest and appealed to him to release the funds.

The newly-elected MP, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, also asked the minister to order pre-feasibility survey for the Kandaghat greenfield airport, located on the outskirts of Shimla.

To attract high-end tourists to the state, she demanded more flights to the Shimla, Kullu and Kangra airports.

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