In the past decade, an international airport in Greater Noida has been proposed, shelved and revived, several times over. Now the newly-appointed Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma, who is from Noida, says he is ready to put his weight behind developing an international airport in Jewar, on the fringes of Delhi.
“My vision is clear. If we can have more than one airport in London, why can’t we have another airport in the vicinity of Delhi,” Sharma told Newsline here. “I am open to all the suggestions but at the same time I am ready to face all the hurdles in the way of establishing an airport in Jewar.”
The new minister’s enthusiasm is not shared by the UP government, which is in no mood to accept an international airport at Jewar as the project was aggressively promoted by the previous BSP government in the state.
The idea of an international airport in Greater Noida was first mooted in 2001 by then BJP chief minister Rajnath Singh.
However, within a few months Mayawati became the CM for about an year in 2002.
It was during her regime that the Jewar proposal was given preliminary clearance by the Centre. However, in 2003, new chief minister Mulayam Singh shelved the project.
In 2007, Jewar was revived as Taj International Aviation Hub by the BSP government. The proposed airport was to come along the now operational Yamuna Expressway. For five years, Mayawati pursued the project.
But it became clear that as per the agreement between Delhi International Airport, the Centre cannot allow any airport within 150km radius of IGIA, giving first right of refusal to GMR.
Soon after coming to power in 2012, the Akhilesh Yadav government completely shelved Jewar. Now Sharma insists he would push for it, even if it means relaxing norms to allow a greenfield international airport within the radius of 150 km of IGIA.