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Monday, April 1, 2013

Resumption of Air Services from Malda Becomes a Crucial By-Poll Issue, Cong – TMC Ministers Hit Each Other

Malda, Jan 28: The two commandants of the Congress and the Trinamul Congress AH Khan Choudhury and Krishnendu CAhoudhury are not sparing the slightest scope to fiercely rip each other as the English Bazaar by-poll is fast drawing nearer.

As like all other elections the resumption of air services from Malda has been raised by the electors before the by-election also, the Union minister of state for health and family planning AH Khan Choudhury (Dalu) directly passed the buck to the Trinamul candidate and tourism minister Krishnendu Choudhury’s court. Choudhury, in his reaction, termed Dalu as failure as a Union minister and said that the airport services is in the Central list and the south Malda MP could not mobilize the government in this regard.

“Introduction of flight services from Malda was the dream of late Ghani Khan Choudhury and he tried his best for this. Later, I as an MP knocked the door of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take initiative but she suggested me to arrange the fund for additional land for the existing aerodrome in Malda,” Dalu said in a election meeting.

“Accordingly I took up the matter with the concerned Union minister and the Union government sanctioned fund for the subsequent quantity of land necessary for rejuvenating the existing aerodrome in Malda,” he claimed.

“But Krishnendu has been always opposing the resumption of air services from the existing aerodrome as he, being a close associate with a promoters, has a target to use the land in vested interest. It’s owing to his and the state government’s role that the resumption of air services from Malda has been reeling under uncertainty,” the district Congress commandant said.
(file photo)
Tourism minister of the state Choudhury, on the contrary, has said, “Everyone knows that Airport Authority of India is under the Union government. Being a Union minister it is Khan Choudhury’s responsibility to mobilize them to resume air services from Malda.”

“I, personally spoke to the then AAI (Eastern region) director Goutam Mukherjee and arranged inspection of several spots for a full-fledged airport in Malda. The existing airport has only little more than 140 acres of land parts of which have already been encroached. Moreover, high-rise buildings encircling the existing aerodrome are other hindrances. Some people have also started living within the premises. Hence, evacuation of them would linger the process as they would move to court,” Choudhury said.

“Hence, l proposed that the airport should be anew founded in at least 400 acres of land available at Noldubi in Old Malda or somewhere in Habibpur. In all cities the airports are located at adequate distances from the heart of the town. Moreover, the present aerodrome is too small to be used for passenger flights. The Union minister must realize the logics before soiling me personally before the election,” Choudhury added.

He alleged that Dalu and other Congress leaders were targeting him personally before the election using improper language. “People would give them a fitting reply in the election,” he said.

This may be mentioned that long back in 1962 an aerodrome  was set up on 144.40 acres of land near Malda town. Initially the carriage flights used to run during the season of mango harvesting. Later in 1987, flying of small aircrafts under Vayudoot service started from the aerodrome but only for two years. Subsequently, the aerodrome remained forsaken except for the flights carrying VIPs.

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