Durgapur Aerotropolis, the dream project of the former Left front government is nearing completion. The Aerotropolis project at Andal near Durgapur is being developed as a unique urban development with the airport at its core and has been named as Sujalam skyCity by its developer Bengal Aerotropolis Project Ltd. (BAPL).
The Rs 600 crore greenfield airport that forms the heart of the aerocity project at Durgapur, is nearing completion. The runway is almost 97% complete, passenger terminal building 92%, air traffic control 97% and operational building (service cluster block) is 97% ready.
According to BAPL sources, the airport will be ready for flight services by August-September. Thereafter, there are regulatory compliances that need to be met. The airport should be ready for flight operations by this year end. Chances are, the first flight will be on the Kolkata-Durgapur-Delhi sector followed by connections to Mumbai and Bangalore.
Kenneth Scott, general manager of Pride Hotel in Rajarhat said, “Once the airport becomes operational, several other sectors will open up. There is tremendous scope for hospitality, IT & ITeS and health sector.” Pride is keen on a hotel property at the airport city that has zones earmarked for residential enclaves, IT offices, hospitals, health centres, educational institutions, and retail business centres.
Urban planning is being done by the famous Townland Group of Hong Kong, which has successfully implemented more than 3,000 projects in the Asia-Pacific region. Tata Consulting Engineers are planning the infrastructure development. Road development and traffic planning are being done by STUP of France.
Satyajit Bose, chairman of The Mission Hospital in Durgapur and cardiac surgeon, believes the airport will boost health tourism. “We have bought 2 acres in the airport area to develop a super specialty hospital there. A medical college hospital is also on the anvil,” he said.
Several industries have already bought land at the airport city, including Joy Mining, Ardex Endura and Shree Shyam Agro Food Products Ltd. A delegation from Taiwan has expressed interest.
Rajendra Prasad Khaitan, a prominent chamber of commerce representative from the region, feels the airport is a tremendous business opportunity for the region that was once called the Ruhr of India.
Several industries have already bought land at the airport city, including Joy Mining, Ardex Endura, Alchemist Realty and Shree Shyam Agro Food Products Ltd. A delegation from Taiwan has expressed interest.
Once the Andal airport does become operational, it will be a big step towards achieving the dream of a second city after Kolkata in Bengal and will undoubtedly be the state’s most prestigious showcase project.