‘Jewar airport will be India’s fastest airport to come up in time’
The Jewar international airport will be ready by 2023, confirms Dr Arun Vir Singh, CEO of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA). Dr Singh says that they are receiving unparalleled support, both from the State and the Centre and this project will set a record in not only being the largest airport in the country at 5000 hectare and four runways, but also in being the fastest airport development project. Dr Singh was earlier posted as Additional Commissioner of NCR Planning Board, and prior to that Additional Commissioner (Trade Tax) in Noida.
The Jewar airport has been approved by the centre and state government. What is the status of land acquisition?
We have got every other clearance except for environmental clearance which will also come in smoothly as the land is flat (without barrier) and there are no forests or endangered flora and fauna species.
We plan to float the tender in June and by September, we hope to close the bidding process and sign the concessionaire agreement. By October, we hope to lay the foundation stone of Jewar airport. We have submitted proposal for land acquisition to the Collector for eight villages at present. Since the airport development will be done in phased manner, in the first phase, we are taking only those villages where runway will be built. 1905 families will have to be shifted and we are
also getting a social impact assessment study done by Gautam Buddha University.
This is dream project of our Chief Minister and there is unparalleled support from both State and Centre. You will be surprised to know that on 6th July 2017 we were given the site clearance and by 23rd April 2018, we had the in-principal approval along with the study done on the socio economic, environment, traffic, rehabilitation, financial IRR and the cost of equity. All this in a record time of nine months as against the Navi Mumbai airport which took five years to get clearance or Goa that took four years.
How is the construction of Jewar airport being planned across different phases?
A total of 5,000 hectare land (or 12,500 acres) has been earmarked for this aviation hub. This was written in NCR Planning board draft when masterplan was approved. The masterplan had a chapter on transport and it was written that in Yamuna expressway, an international airport will come up over 5,000 hectare. So it has already been thought of in the masterplan. The IGI Airport Delhi has only 2,500 acre, and Jewar is almost 4-5 times of that. The construction has been divided into four phases. In first phase 3,000 acres will be developed and in second phase, another 3,000 acres. In third phase, we will have a convention centre, like an Aerocity.
This area is rich in milk and fruits so by the fourth phase, our dream is to have a world class mandi. UP is
known for producing the maximum milk and best fruits in the country. But these are perishable items and can only be transported by air cargo. Our state government is very keen that the farmer’s products be promoted.
How many passengers are expected from the Delhi NCR region and the state of UP for Jewar airport?
The IGI is currently carrying over 60 million passengers (much earlier than it was planned) and it is estimated that by 2022, it will reach its saturation level of 109 million passengers. After 2022, if we consider that there is not a single passenger from the capital region flying from Jewar even then on day 1 we will still have 5 million passengers from our own hinterland –that is from Agra and Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Moradabad, Bharatpur, Mathura. But as per a passenger traffic study done by consultants, the estimated passenger
load on Jewar will be around 12 million passengers, including spill over traffic from Delhi NCR region. Talking about air cargo, currently ~52% of the cargo from IGI comes from Ghaziabad (19%) and Gautam Buddh Nagar (32%). The cargo is mostly constituted of pharmaceutical products, garment, textile and IT equipment and electronics. So from day one of operations Jewar should have enough cargo from its hinterland.
What kind of linkages will be drawn between the two airports and otherwise to the rest of NCR?
We are going to have Metro connectivity between Jewar Airport and Pari Chowk, Greater Noida. We are also planning to connect the airport to the already planned Rail Rapid Mass Transport System which is being planned between Sarai Kale Khan and IGI.
From Jewar to IGI, one should be able to reach within 42-44 minutes at an average speed of 110/120 and minimum number of stations. We have also floated a TOR for multimodal connectivity to explore other options such as elevated road connectivity from Jewar airport to IGI with some sort of automated part taxis. Hyper loop is an option which is the fastest known technology and being developed between Abu Dhabi and Dubai but it costs Rs 25-27,000 crores per km. India might not be ready to be able to invest so much money.
It’s been one year of RERA. Have you done an audit of real estate developers at Yamuna expressway? How do you plan to deal with unscrupulous builders who divert funds and do not deliver projects?
Such builders are very few in the Yamuna expressway area. They are mostly there in Noida and Greater Noida. At Yamuna expressway, around 10,000 units were to be delivered by builders and authority of which 5,000 have been delivered. There are some units under construction and will be delivered by December 2018. For units that had to delivered by private builders and there is possible fund diversion, we are doing a builder audit. We found two major builders SDS and Greenway and we are going to the Board to cancel their completion certificates. RERA interim authority is there but a proper authority is yet to be established. They have done good job in solving 220 cases.
What makes YEIDA an ideal hub for business? How much investment has Yeida attracted and what kind of projects are expected to start?
At the Uttar Pradesh Investor’ Summit, we had signed around 28 MoUs directly with the companies and allotted land to many groups such as Bikanerwala, Param group, Ramsons, Yatharth pharmacy hub. Plus, we are coming up with a big cluster textile park over 200 acre which will create employment for over 5 lakh people. There will be 182 companies and it will create new opportunities for unskilled labour especially women. Adani group has asked for 2,500 acre of land for Chola railway track logistic park and they are in the process of initiating the process.
Arun Vir Singh