A team of Airport Authority of India (AAI) will visit Mandi on May 7 to conduct a survey for the construction of an international airport there, the Himachal Pradesh government said today. A delegation of AAI officers met Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who urged them to explore the feasibility of opening another airport in the state.
A statement from the state government said the team would visit the proposed sites at Ner Dhangu in Balh sub division, Gogradhar in Padar and Mobiseri in Gohar Sub division along with some other sites for a pre-feasibility report. The chief minister had vigorously pursued this matter with the prime minister and the civil aviation minister during his previous visits to Delhi, it said.
He asked the officers to conduct the survey and expedite the progress so that the international airport comes up in Mandi at the earliest. Meanwhile, an Asian Development Bank team led by Country Director Keninchi Yokoyama met the chief minister in the national capital today.
The team held discussions for Rs 750 crore second-trench proposal under the Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism. The chief minister said 19 projects were sanctioned under phase one out of which 16 were completed whereas three would be completed by June 2020.
The main projects were the beautification of Shimla, restoration of the Town Hall, parking at Tutikandi (Shimla) for 1,000 cars, parking and tourist integrated centre at Chintpurni. Work on 12 projects under phase two was in progress and would be completed by 2020, the statement said.
Thakur said efforts were afoot to send a new proposal worth Rs 1,800 crore for ADB funding to promote tourism with an objective of safe, sustainable, economic, eco-friendly tourism habitat supported by improved infrastructure and services.
Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Manisha Nanda had held preliminary meetings with the team in February and requested them to visit Shimla. She also forwarded a concept plan and preliminary project report for positive response from the ADB team.
Nanda said a tentative list of proposed works under the project had been prepared and discussed for developing various tourist places in the state and strengthening infrastructure facilities in these locations.