Now Bharuch may get an Airport finally
The Golden Corridor, stretching from Bharuch to Vapi, may be Gujarat’s industrial heart with investments of approximately Rs 80,000 crore and much more expected to come at Dahej and surrounding areas. And yet, the region does not have an airport, despite 100 passengers landing at the Vadodara airport daily, just to go to Bharuch.However, the wheels are finally starting to turn to revive an old project for an airport at Bharuch. Only last month, the state government asked the Bharuch roads and buildings department to acquire 300 acres of additional land to the existing 200 acres of land acquired way back in 1993 near Mandva village on National Highway-8, about 20 km away from Bharuch. After the land was acquired, a survey was conducted 15 years ago by a private company for the ministry of civil aviation, which concluded that the passenger flow here may be too thin to make the project viable.But, the new-found energy has come from the massive increase in investments here and an MoU signed between the state government and Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Limited (BEIL) — a company jointly promoted by United Phosphorus Limited Group and Members of Industries Association — singed an MoU under Vibrant Gujarat Summit in 2006.BEIL director Ashok Panjwani believes that even a small airport will be a viable option today, given the increase in traffic. “We are keen to develop the airport and are considering buying two or three 50-seater aircraft ourselves and running them commercially. Also, industrialists and top executives will be able to fly down for quick visits,” he says. Sources, however, said that it may now be difficult to acquire land near the original site now as there has been a lot of development since 1993. It is possible that the government may have to look for a new site altogether.