Bhaskar News | Last Modified - Sep 02, 2013, 02:28 PM IST
Jaisalmer: A total of 80 crore INR worth Jaisalmer airport (located 17 km south-east of the city) has been left unused for more than six months.
AAI Chairman V P Agrawal in June, 2013 had told that, "Jaisalmer airport, spread over 65 acres land, is ready and we plan to inaugurate it in August while flight operations are likely to be started in the month of October,". The construction work for the airport was completed in March, 2013.
Jaisalmer has been used as air force station for IAF flight operations. The new and swanky Jaisalmer airport is expected to increase the number of national and international tourists.
Bikaner airport, worth 15 crore INR, is facing the same negligence. The airport is supposed to be functioning from September onwards but is left abandoned.
Principal Secretary, Rajasthan Civil Aviation and Tourism, Rakesh Srivastav said that airline-holding companies are yet to be contacted for flight operations and that is the reason for the delay.
There is no inter-state flight connectivity in Rajasthan. The recent rupee slide and increase in crude oil price has dimmed prospects of airline-holding companies to invest in newer areas. Nevertheless, the Civil Aviation ministry on Friday said that it will continue to request the State governments to reduce Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) tax to provide relief to the companies. The tax in Rajasthan has gone up by 20% from between 2008 and 2013. This increase has reduced the number of flights from 36 to 23 in the state.