Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 48 crore for Jagdalpur, Rs. 27 crore for Ambikapur and Rs. 33 crore for Bilaspur under UDAN scheme for up-gradation and development of 3 Airports in Chhattisgarh.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, I/C, Civil Aviation said this while speaking at the inauguration of flight operations by Alliance Air from Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) to Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Hyderabad (Telangana) under UDAN scheme on Monday. Minister Puri said that this air connectivity will fulfill the aspirations of people of the region and provide impetus to the local economy.
Up-gradation and development of 3 Airports in Chhattisgarh
- Expenditure incurred: Rs. 45 Crore
- Total Cost: Rs. 48 Crore
- Expenditure incurred: Rs. 27 Crore
- Total Cost: Rs. 27 Crore
- Expenditure incurred: Rs. 33 Crore
- Total Cost: Rs. 20 Crore
Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Prem Sai Singh, In-charge Minister, Bastar, T S Singh Deo, Chhattisgarh Minister for Rural Development and Health, Deepak Baij, MP, Bastar, and other senior officials also joined the virtual event. The dignitaries interacted with the first time passengers who seemed to be very delighted with the inauguration of the new air route under UDAN.
The Minister further informed that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had planned for to invest about Rs. 900 crore to develop and expand Raipur airport which includes expansion of the terminal building. Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had approved the bid of Alliance Air for the operation of RCS Flight from Bilaspur to Bhopal under UDAN 4.0 which is expected to commence shortly.
Air India’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Alliance Air was awarded this route under the UDAN 3 bidding process. The airline will operate daily flights and will deploy 72 seater ATR 70 aircraft on this route. With the commencement of the Jagdalpur-Raipur-Hyderabad route, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalised a total of 285 routes under RCS-UDAN.
Jagdalpur airport is situated in Bastar, an aspirational tribal district with a huge tourism potential for its unique tribal culture and heritage. Moreover, Jagdalpur is a business hub as well due to the presence of many furniture factories and rice mills in the region.
Subsequently, many people travel frequently between Jagdalpur and the nearest metro city Hyderabad for business purposes. Flight operations between these two cities will reduce the travel time to 75 minutes from the current 12 hours spent on road and train trips. People from Jagdalpur can now reach the capital city Raipur in just 45 minutes as compared to 7 hours on-road journey.
Commencement of flight operations on these routes not only fulfills the long standing demand and brings down the travel time drastically between the new destinations but will also help in promoting the tourism potential of the region. Jagdalpur is popularly known as paradise land and termed as escapist’s dreamland, as the city is famous for Chitrakote falls, which are also called as ‘The Niagra falls of India.’ Jagdalpur is also known for its wildlife, temples, caves, lakes, museums, and historic monuments.
The city is home to, National Parks like Kanger Ghati National Park and Indravati National Park. The Ministry of Tourism had earlier identified Jagdalpur-Teerathgarh-Chitrakoot-Barsur-Dantewada-Teerathgarh Circuit as one of the 45 mega tourist destinations/circuits in India on the basis of footfalls and their future tourism potential.