Construction of new terminal at Agra airport delayed again
Agra’s tourism industry has expressed deep concern over the delay in the construction of the new terminal at Kheria Airport. Ahead of the new tourist season starting in September, it was hoped that Agra would be ready with a new terminal to accommodate Indian and foreign guests. More than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic have hit the tourism sector hard. This year has seen some revival, as evidenced by the steady increase in the number of visitors to the Taj Mahal and other landmarks in the city.
However, in a major setback, work on the new Agra airport terminal at Kheria Air Force Base, has again stalled, due to an ongoing court case.
In an RTI filed by prominent lawyer KC Jain, this information has raised concerns in tourism circles.
The response to RTI said: “A terminal with an area of 30,000 m² to accommodate 700 passengers during peak hours at a construction cost of 398 Cr. was planned. The program is abandoned for the moment because the environmental authorization could not be obtained due to a legal case.
The amendment petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India. The land was acquired and the perimeter wall built. The works will be rescheduled after obtaining the environmental authorization. »
Senior Supreme Court counsel KC Jain said it was a serious setback. While smaller towns were getting their airports at a steady pace, Agra was denied the facility for unexplained reasons. The city of the Taj attracts over eight million tourists each year.
Currently, Agra Kheria Airport is partially used. Only five cities are connected by air with Agra, Bangaluru, Bhopal, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. The tourism sector demands international connectivity and more flights to Goa, Indore, Kolkatta and Delhi.
The airstrip belongs to the Air Force. This causes a lot of inconvenience to passengers. The terminal used looks like a road bus stop.
A few years ago, a larger international standard air terminal project was started to allow direct access, without entering the air force base station. But the construction is blocked for more than a year.