DHUBRI, May 24: Bhumi pujan (rituals) for renovation of Rupshi Airport was performed at the airport runway near Gauripur of Dhubri district on Wednesday by the officials of Airport Authority of India (AAI), officials of construction company and local people. Bhumi pujan was a historic moment as it marked beginning of works as soil testing and other spade work of the lounge were completed in February this year. The construction of the airport was awarded to East India Company and it will carry out the work in the first phase with the amount of Rs. 40 crore sanctioned by the Central government. Talking to The Sentinel, Deputy General Manager of Airport Authority of India, Guwahati, B. Pandey informed that work of the airport was allotted to East India Company and it would complete its scheduled work in a planned manner within a year. “For next phases’ works, tenders will be invited and rest of the works will be done accordingly. But today marks the beginning of the renovation work of the airport and it will be completed step-by-step,” Pandey further informed.
On February 15 this year, land measuring 1,071 bighas belonging to Rupshi Airport under the Bogribari Revenue Circle of BTC, was formally handed over to the officials of Airport Authority of India (AAI) by BTC deputy secretary Arun Basumatary at the airport. Rupshi Airport was one of the five airports in the northeast region that were reopened under the Udaan 2 project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last year. The airport is located 15 km from Dhubri town. It was built during World War II but remained closed since 1980. When contacted by The Sentinel, president and secretary of Rupshi Airport Revival Demand Committee, Bimal Oswal and Jyotirmoy Chakraborty respectively, expressed satisfaction over the beginning of works to reopen the airstrip.
“Reopening works of this historic airport from the extreme west of Assam after nearly 40 years will not only boost to the communication network but also prove to be highly beneficial for economic and commercial activities,” Oswal and Chakraborty said.
Chakraborty, who had visited the airport, was also present during the bhumi pujan. He informed that local people, officials of AAI and construction group - all had shown great interest and enthusiasm towards the reopening of the airport.