Centre studying feasibility of connectivity for Deoghar airport

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By Sanjay Singh

New Delhi, September 14: Even while Deoghar airport became operation in July, people continue to wait for connectivity with big cities in the country. Lack of connectivity with cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and others continue to make travelers fly to the Patna airport and take the road journey to reach their respective destinations in Deoghar and the adjoining areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Deoghar international airport, but even after three months normal air-connectivity is yet to be operationalized.

The airport, incidentally, has restrictions on post-evening operations of flights.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is working on a feasibility report to relook at the demand for air travel from other cities to Deoghar, sources said.

The restricted flight operations is causing much hardships to the people, who are also complaining of high ticket prices currently charged, which makes the commuters prefer to travel by trains.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday said the government was working on three more airports in Jharkhand at Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dumka.

A team from the Centre is expected to visit Jharkhand to ascertain the ground situation for airports at Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dumka.

Earlier in July, while inaugurating the Deoghar international airport, Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, had stated that besides the three aforementioned new upcoming airports in Jharkhand, there would be 14 new routes connecting the state with major cities in the country.

After the inauguration of the Deoghar airport in Jharkhand, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is working on its plans and coordinating with the state government to expedite the process of procurement of land for the new airports in Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dumka.

In 2019, the then Chief Minister Raghubar Das had performed bhumi pujan for the construction of airport in Dhalbhumgarh in Jamshedpur, which ran into protests by villagers. Now the officials are now planning to build the airport within an area of 240 acres of land.

The construction of the Deoghar international airport had cost around Rs 400 crore, making it the second airport in Jharkhand after Ranchi. The new Dumka airport once operational will connect with Ranchi and Kolkata. Bokaro airport once completed will connect with Patna and Kolkata.

The government is expanding its air operations across the country and is opening defence airspace for civil use.  Similarly, under the UDAN scheme, the Regional Connectivity Scheme which covers short distance flights, the government has added more than 900 new routes in past few years, out of which air service has started on more than 350. Besides, more than 50 new airports or those which were not in service earlier have been made operational.

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