Congress today alleged that the Union government has betrayed Haryana’s interests by sanctioning the international airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh. “BJP governments, at the Centre and State, have sold Haryana’s interest at the altar of political expediency. Previous Congress-UPA government had granted in-principle approval in the year 2013-14 for setting up a greenfield airport in Haryana. The M L Khattar government has, however, come a cropper, failing to protect Haryana’s claim,” Congress in-charge of communication Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
He alleged that ignoring Haryana’s claim to set up an international airport at Jhajjar, Meham or Karnal, the Centre has made a “unilateral announcement” for setting up of a new international airport at Jewar, Uttar Pradesh. An international airport with a capacity to handle 30-50 million passengers per year will come up at Jewar in Greater Noida in the next five to six years to ease the load on the Delhi airport, the government had announced yesterday.
Surjewala said in a statement that Haryana’s case for an international airport is the most meritorious and naturally acceptable. “Till today, Haryana does not have a single airport, domestic or international, for commercial air traffic. Previous Congress government in Haryana made serious efforts and suggested the names of Meham/Jhajjar/Karnal for setting up of an International airport as a successor second airport to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.
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“Ministry of Civil Aviation conducted a survey and gave in-principle approval for setting up of an airport in Haryana, dealing with both cargo and commercial traffic. In the meanwhile, government at the Centre changed and Modi government put the entire project on back burner. For three years, people of Haryana waited with great expectation but in an act of deception, Union government has proceeded to shift the airport to Jewar, Uttar Pradesh,” Surjewala alleged. He said “conspiratorial silence” of Chief Minister Khattar and BJP MPs of Haryana on this “blatant sellout of Haryana’s interests is deeply intriguing”.
An International airport would have meant employment for thousands of Haryana youth. Acquisition and development of nearly 3,000 acres of land for the airport would have brought in an investment of Rs 15-20,000 crore, besides multi-fold development in all the districts and areas around the airport, Surjewala, who is also Congress MLA from Haryana, said. “An international airport would have also given a distinct identity adding to Haryana’s growth story. All these gains have been undone on account of lackadaisical attitude of the Khattar government,” he said. He said it is time for BJP government in Haryana “to wake up from its slumber and act decisively against the betrayal of interests of the state by the Central government and fight for Haryana’s cause”.