portThe government of Odisha has approved a proposal by Dhamra Port Company (DPCL) to acquire 274.41 acre land to build a commercial airstrip in Bhadrak district.

DPCL will now seek necessary clearances from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other agencies before building the airstrip. The company had already initiated the process of obtaining approvals. The airstrip, once built, will provide a big connectivity boost to northern Odisha, which currently does not have an airport serving it.

The DPCL airstrip will not only serve the company, but also ensure development of tourism and enhance commercial activities in the region. The state government had given its approval to the project in September 2018; on 12 November 2018 it had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with DPCL for construction of a commercial airport near Dhamra Port.

The airstrip will be developed over 500 acre and used for both passenger and cargo movement. DPCL will invest over Rs 500 crore in the project. The state government will take a call on acquisition of the remaining 226 acre later on.

The Bhadrak Administration had already identified an area near the town for the airstrip. The airstrip will also benefit the upcoming five million tpa LNG terminal at Dhamra, the foundation of which was laid in July 2017.

The terminal is being jointly developed by the Indian Oil Corporation, GAIL (India) and Adani Group with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore. A special economic zone (SEZ) and industrial park are also being planned near Dhamra Port.

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