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Ascertain How Long Will It Take To Expand/ Operationalise All Airports In State: Patna HC Seeks State's Report In 2 Weeks

Brij Dubey
11 March 2022 4:03 PM GMT
Ascertain How Long Will It Take To Expand/ Operationalise All Airports In State: Patna HC Seeks States Report In 2 Weeks
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Hearing a bunch of pleas filed highlighting the issue of the need for expansion of airports/making all of them fully functional and operational, situated within the State of Bihar, the Patna High Court has directed the Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar to make decisions on the issue.The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar directed...

Hearing a bunch of pleas filed highlighting the issue of the need for expansion of airports/making all of them fully functional and operational, situated within the State of Bihar, the Patna High Court has directed the Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar to make decisions on the issue.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar directed the Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar to convene a meeting of all the stakeholders for ascertaining how soon the airports can be either expanded or made functional and/or operational.

The case in brief

It was averred in one of the pleas that even though, for expansion of Patna Airport, a sum of Rs. 1216.9 crores was sanctioned, but only 32% of the amount thereof stands utilized. It was submitted that the project was scheduled to be completed sometime in December 2023 and there was a huge delay in execution thereof.

A similar grievance was also pointed out with respect to the airport at Gaya. It was submitted that the expansion of the said airport, which would cater to tourists from international destinations was delayed inordinately. One common factor for the delay is a lack of acquisition of the required land, it was submitted.

Court's orders 

Hearing the matter on March 7, the Court noted that at this point in time, airports at Bhagalpur, Forbesganj (Jogbani), Munger, Raxaul, and Muzaffarpur are non-functional. Court also noted that currently, there are 8 airports in Bihar, of which 3 airports (Gaya, Patna, and Darbhanga) are operational and the rest are closed.

In view of this, the Court had earlier sought details of all the airports which are non-functional, be it for whatever reason. Also, information leading to delay of expansion of the Projects was also sought by the Court. Now, on March 9, the Court allowed the respondent to file its response in the matter before March 23.

Further, the Court also directed the Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar, Patna to convene a meeting of all the stakeholders in two weeks for ascertaining how soon the airports referred to the Court's our order dated 07.03.2022 can be either expanded or made functional and/or operational.

The Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar was further asked to submit his report by way of affidavit before the next date i.e. 30.03.2022.

Lastly, in so far as Airport at Patna was concerned, the Court asked the Director, Patna Airport, Patna, to explain in person as to how best the Airport can be expanded and development work expedited. Now, he will appear before the Court to interact in person on the next date of hearing.

Case Title: Gaurav Singh & Ors. Vs Union of India and connected petitions 

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