Meghalaya HC pulls up AAI on Umroi airport
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, May 13: The Meghalaya High Court, hearing a sou moto case into the Umroi Airport project on Thursday observed that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) does not appear to be keen to fast-track work for the early completion of the airport.
“The sense of expedition and urgency is missing on their part. This aspect could be seen from several shortcomings that we have indicated and it is also seen from an admitted position that the Instrument Landing System supposed to be utilised for Umroi Airport, costing Rs.2.11 crores, had been procured long back and was lying non-functiol at Guwahati Airport,” the High Court said.
According to the High Court, on a comprehension of the report submitted before it, prima facie impressions are irresistible that except the AAI, probably all other authorities/bodies/departments appear to be keenly working so as to ensure the work of expansion and up gradation of Umroi Airport at the earliest and without hindrance.
“In any case, the PWD, Government of Meghalaya, has at least shown its keenness to find the method to expedite the work. The other authorities like BSNL, MePDCL and Defence also appear to have shown keenness to carry out their part whenever required,” the Meghalaya High Court said.
The High Court informed that the issue concerning the construction of a boundary wall by the state’s Public Works Department (PWD), the height and excessive length were suggested to be the factors responsible for delay, it has been agreed to by PWD that the boundary wall with a height of 1.6 meters out of the total height of 2.4 meters would be completed before the onset of monsoon around June 15, this year and the remaining height would be completed by post monsoon period.
The court said that though, it is not making any comment in this regard but from the communication dated May 15, from the office of the Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), Meghalaya it appears that efforts have been made by the PWD, to find the ways and means of completing the boundary wall.
Moreover, the High Court also observed that, if at all there would be a fil conclusion that the AAI is not willing to expedite the project, and is failing in its statutory duties, it would be an unfortute position that the court might be compelled to consider assigning the task and project to some other authority/agency/department.