Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s government has taken a step ahead for the expansion of Kangra Gaggal Airport. After getting the report of the Social Impact Assessment, the state government has now formed an export group in this regard.
This expert group will submit its report to the government in the next two months before the land acquisition begins. According to the notification issued by Principal Secretary Tourism Devesh Kumar, a total of seven members have been included in the expert group.
In this, two social scientists are from Central University, Dharamshala. These include Professor Vishal Sood of the Education Department and Dr. Shashi Poonam, Associate Professor of the Social Worker Department.
The head of Gagal Panchayat and the head of Rachiyalu Panchayat will be the members of the expert group. Two rehabilitation experts have also been included in this.
Both of them are officers of the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Service. These include Deputy Commissioner R&R Raja Ka Talab Sanjay Dhiman and Joint Secretary Revenue Balwan Chand.
Significantly, the length of Gaggal Airport is being increased from 1900 meters to 3100 meters. Only then big ships will be able to land here.
At present, due to the small airstrip, only 90-seater aircraft can land here with a load penalty. The state government will spend about 4000 crores on the expansion of this airport. It is a brownfield category airport.
Waiting for decision on Mandi airport
During the previous BJP government, the then Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had decided to build an airport at Balh in Mandi. It is a Greenfield category airport, in which the state has to bear all the expenses.
The government has also received the report of the Social Impact Assessment for this proposed airport, but an expert group has not yet been formed regarding this airport.
However, the tourism department has taken the recommendation of names for the expert group from the district administration Mandi.