Srinagar, Sep 25: Jammu and Kashmir government Saturday said that the first international flight between Srinagar – Sharjah will start "soon, ending the long pending demand of the UT to have direct international connectivity".
As per a J&K government handout, the decision is part of a slew of announcements made after detailed deliberations between Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia here.
The handout quoted LG Sinha saying the Union Minister and J&K government agreed to start the Srinagar-Sharjah flight soon.
“Similarly, runway at the Jammu Airport has been enhanced and 30% load penalty at Jammu airport will be removed from 1st October. It will bring huge relief to the airlines and passengers. We have also decided to build a new airport terminal adjacent to existing airport at Jammu. The land measuring 122 acres has already been identified. It will soon be handed over to Airports Authority of India to build a state-of-the-art 25,000 Sqm new terminal building,” Lt Governor said.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia during a press conference at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar said the construction of a new terminal building at Srinagar will start soon that will cost around Rs 1500 crore while the new terminal at Jammu Airport will come up at Rs 600 crore.
“The decision will bring economic stimulus as well as employment opportunities in both the divisions. The Centre is implementing schemes in the UT in a focused manner to ensure sustainable economic growth and development of every sector,” Scindia said.
Referring to the visits of various Union Ministers to J&K, Scindia said that "all ministers have brought with them prospects of development, prosperity through their respective Ministries".
"Jammu and Kashmir will emerge as a region that will be a role model for other regions of the country and the World in terms of development with ample opportunities for its people," he added.
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation said that special focus is being given on development of both air and road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir. "A major road network including highways, ring roads, tunnels, and other projects are being constructed across Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh, " he added.
He said that enhanced connectivity shall bring more tourists to J&K and promote local craft adding the promotion of tourism and crafts shall boost economic activity and prosperity of people of J&K.
The Union Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "an era of peace, progress and development has already started in Jammu and Kashmir".
He added that among other major projects, work is going on "in full swing on ring road worth Rs 3000 crore, while 100 percent households are being supplied electricity now, which has become possible due to the efforts of the current dispensation".
"The Central and UT governments have not only been successful in curbing corruption in J&K but also bringing unprecedented development in all sectors including health, education, and infrastructure".
Scindia said that his ministry and the UT Government are working on increasing the maximum flight operations catering to the growing tourism, industry sectors of the UT and development aspiration of its people.
“Necessary steps will also be taken on priority to increase the helicopter services, especially in the far-flung districts of the UT on the lines of Uttrakhand”, he added.
Speaking on Cargo facility being built in the UT at the estimated cost of Rs 15 Crore, the Union Minister said that it will be ready soon and will facilitate the traders and business community of the UT.
Referring to the long pending demand of a paid premium lounge at Srinagar Airport, the Union Minister said that a tender would again be floated for inviting a party to build it and hopefully the premium lounge would come up soon.
He also assured for keeping a strict check on mass bookings during peak tourist season and put an end to such immoral and criminal system.