An elevated road, a Rapid Rail Transport System (RRTS) network and a dedicated direct Metro corridor from Indira Gandhi International Airport to Jewar – these are options that the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is considering to provide connectivity to the proposed Jewar International Airport, said officials.
The project is expected to be inaugurated in October this year. “For connectivity, we have approached the NCRTC (National Capital Region Transport Corporation) to come out with a feasibility report along these lines. For the RRTS network, three routes are being looked into – Delhi to Meerut, Delhi to Panipat and Delhi to Palwal. We are planning to tap the Delhi-Meerut route at Ashok Nagar area on the Delhi-Noida border. The study is being conducted by NCRTC to find a direct transport corridor from Jewar to IGI,” said Arunvir Singh, CEO, YEIDA.
The Authority has also approached the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to conduct a study for a dedicated “Airport Expressway corridor” which links IGI to the proposed airport, officials said. “RRTS is a rail-based regional transport system with a design speed of 180 kmph and an average speed of 100 kmph. Three corridors which have been prioritised are expected to culminate at Sarai Kale Khan. Connecting Sarai Kale Khan to Jewar Airport through RRTS may be a preferred option to attract traffic from Delhi and neighbouring regions to Jewar airport,” Singh further said.
“With the likelihood of saturation of IGI Airport in the near future, there is a need for a second airport around Delhi due to the burgeoning hinterland air traffic. It is well-connected to the states of UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana. There are no pre-development activities required on-site, and minimal displacement and obstruction removal as per the OLS survey is needed,” said Singh. Conceived in 2001 when Rajnath Singh was chief minister, the Jewar Airport project has seen several hurdles – mostly owing to a tussle between the central and state governments. The plan was forgotten after BJP was voted out.
In the years that followed, the state saw the BSP and SP in power. In 2010, then chief minister Mayawati attempted to revive the project. But the UPA government at the Centre had objected, saying an airport in Jewar could affect business at IGI Airport.
When SP came to power in 2012, it moved a fresh proposal for the airport to be built in Agra. After concerns were raised by the defence minister over its proximity to the IAF base in Kheria, it was proposed that the project be moved to Firozabad or then party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s village, Saifai.
It was in 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre, that current Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma – elected as MP from the Gautam Budh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency – said setting up an international airport in Jewar was one of his top priorities. In 2017, 10 months after the civil aviation ministry asked the government to conduct a fresh techno-economic feasibility and obstacle limitation survey – YEIDA appointed engineering consultancy company RITES for the job. The project was put on fast track after BJP won the Assembly polls.