‘Je­war air­port will be In­dia’s fastest air­port to come up in time’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Nam­rata Kohli let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com n

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 n

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