Amritsar, Punjab: The biased approach of the Punjab government was hampering the development of Amritsar International Airport as it had failed to acquire 44 acres of land, whereas it has released Rs 450 crore for acquiring 300 acres of land in Mohali.
Prof Mohan Singh and Amrit Lal Mannan, patron and general secretary, respectively, of the Amritsar Vikas Manch, in a joint statement to the press, said the state government was anxious for the development of Mohali airport and acquired land in a record time of just three to four months while on the other hand it did not released about Rs 20 to 22 crore for Amritsar airport.
The AVM leaders said one failed to understand as to why the state government was so anxious to set up Mohali airport while both the Chandigarh Administration and the Haryana government were not showing much interest. They said Mohali airport would not be beneficial for the state, rather it would encourage shifting of the Punjabi industry to Baddi and other areas in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
They said the biased approach was also evident from the fact that the state government was taking the meetings at the Chief Secretary level for the introduction of international flights from Mohali seriously, but had not held a single meeting for the resumption of Singapore and Jet Airways flights from Amritsar.
The two leaders said the state government had also failed to redress the problems being faced by Amritsar airport with the Airports Authority of India, the Customs and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. They said the matter of reducing parking and landing charges, compensation of air cargo complex and other issues related to the new terminal building had not been addressed.
They appealed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to prevail upon Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways and other airliners to resume their flights from Amritsar and also take up other matters concerning airports with the Centre.