The Himachal government has approved the Social Impact Assessment survey regarding the expansion of Gaggal Airport in Kangra.
For this, Himachal Pradesh Administrative Training Institute HIPA was given the task of selecting the agency, which has been completed.
SR Asia has been selected through tender. The same agency was also doing the assessment of Mandi airport.
Now the tourism department will notify the social impact assessment, in which information about the land to be acquired for this airport will have to be given.
In fact, the Kangra district administration had prepared two phases for this assessment and sent the report of the first phase to the tourism department.
After this, on the instructions of Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, the report of the second phase was also called for and now the Social Impact Assessment of both phases will be done together.
After this, the land acquisition work will also be done simultaneously. Gaggal Airport’s airstrip is currently 1376 meters, which is planned to be extended to 3100 meters.
The cost of this entire project is going to be around Rs 4000 crore. The new thing is that it will be a brownfield category airport.
This means that the cost for the expansion of this airport will be borne jointly by the center and the state. The first phase of land acquisition will be done till Gaggal Bazar.
Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s government has set a target of making Kangra a tourism capital and for this, it is necessary to land a big ship in Kangra.
This is the reason why the Chief Minister wants land acquisition of both phases to be done simultaneously.
HIPA Director Rigved Milind Thakur said that the agency has been selected for the Social Impact Assessment of Kangra Airport and has now sent the case back to Tourism. This survey will start as soon as the tourism department issues a notification in this regard.
Kangra or Mandi- The Government will have to take a Decision
Whether the international airport in Himachal will be built in Kangra or Mandi, this decision will ultimately have to be taken by the state government.
This is because the cost of Mandi and Kangra airports is almost equal. Each airport will cost around 4000 crores.
Mandi’s proposed airport is of the green field category. Therefore, the state will have to bear its entire cost, while the Airport Authority of India will also help in developing Kangra Airport.
The state government can bear the cost of only one airport from its own resources. At present, Social Impact Assessment for Mandi airport had started and a public hearing is now being held there.
Greenfield in Mandi
Mandi airport is of the green field category therefore, the state will have to bear its entire cost. At the same time, the government has approved the public hearing for Mandi airport.
Brownfield in Kangra
Kangra airport will be of the brownfield category which means that the cost for the expansion of this airport will be borne jointly by the center and the state.