Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Amid a statewide massive drive - 'Vikas Yatra' - aimed at informing the citizens about the BJP government's development vision, the foundation stone was laid on Wednesday for developing a big airport in Rewa district. It would be the sixth airport in Madhya Pradesh after Bhopal, Indore, Khajuraho, Gwalior and Jabalpur, but the first in Vindhya region.
The process for acquiring land and other work had begun two-three years ago. However, this development came when the assembly elections are just a few months away.
Till a few years back, Vindhya region comprising the districts of Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Singrauli and Anuppur used to be dominated by the Congress. However, the BJP managed to win 24 out of 30 assembly seats during the 2018 elections, which was a major setback for the Congress. Now, when the assembly elections are getting closer, the ruling BJP has come with a major gift for the citizens of this area, for which they were waiting for the last several years.
People of Vindhya Pradesh have to travel around 250-300 km to take flight
At present, the people of Vindhya Pradesh have to travel around 250-300 km to take a flight. In an emergency, they have to either go to Jabalpur or Prayagraj (Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh), and therefore the construction of an airport in Rewa will be a crucial development for the people of over two dozen districts. The airport will be established in the outer part of the city in the Chorahata area, where a helipad already exists.
Officials working on the project informed that a feasibility study such as a 'wind diagram' of the city, land availability, spending money capability of the people in the area etc has been completed. "Wind direction is one of the main possibilities to set up an airport in a particular area. In our report, we have submitted an assessment of wind direction for the last 50 years," said Ramji Awasthi, who had been working on the Rewa airport project earlier, and is currently the director of Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal.
The approval for the airport is part of the Central government's UDAN-RCS, the initiative to provide flight connectivity to regional cities, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 21, 2016. The process for establishing an airport in Rewa was initiated during the tenure of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Rewa MLA Rajendra Shukla working on flight connectivity for last eight years
And this is connected with the devastating floods and landslides in Uttarakhand in 2013, said Rewa MLA and a former cabinet minister of Madhya Pradesh, Rajendra Shukla, who has been working for the last eight years to make flight connectivity in the district a reality.
"During the 2013 disaster, most of the roads in Uttarakhand were washed away in floods which made it difficult for our army and other disaster management authorities to reach the people trapped in floods and to rescue them. It was a difficult task to rescue stranded people. And that had prompted the Central government to establish regional small size airports across the country to be prepared for such devastating floods," said Shukla
He continued, "After that devastation the Central government of Manmohan Singh proposed a plan to set up around 50 small size airports in different parts of the country and Rewa was included in this. Since, I was a cabinet minister in the state and being an MLA from here, I took over this responsibility to bring an airport to the district. Finally, approval for running RCS flights has been received but I assure you that in the next five to six years Rewa will have a full-fledged airport."
Rewa, which is located in the north-eastern part of Madhya Pradesh, is around 450 km away from state capital Bhopal and around 230 km from Jabalpur.
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