Agra tourism gets a boost as UP promotes present airport project to international category

Apart from the financial nod, ministers also approved the expenditure related to the displacement and reconstruction of assets of various government departments present in the project area. Trees, roads, canals, electric poles, sub-stations, schools will be removed by concerned departments. These government agencies will provide land and assets to the Civil Aviation Department for free, the ministers decided.

With the consent in, it is now expected that funding will soon come in for more land. The proposed Civil Enclave includes three villages – Dhanauli, Abhaypura, and Balhaira – from where approximately 100 acres of land would be acquired.

Farmers will be compensated at four times the circular rate for any private land purchased, it has been decided.

The Agra airport project has also been transferred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gati Shakti Mission that aims to expedite all his priority schemes. The new civil enclave project has been long delayed.

The present Civil Enclave project – which will be expanded – has till now acquired 20.153 hectares, on which a civil terminal structure of 30,000 square metres is to be built. The Airports Authority of India issued a tender for structural engineering on 18 August and the terminal is expected to be finished in the next 36 months.

According to Prahlad Agarwal, President of the Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber, an agreement was first signed between the UP government and the Airport Authority in 2014 under then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

But the project was bogged down by the red tape of numerous approvals. The UP government authorised the request to purchase additional property after receiving approval from the Supreme Court in January 2023. It is hoped that this long-standing desire of Agra’s tourism sector will be met soon.

Agarwal predicted the launch of international flights from Agra would boost tourism and job prospects. In 2021-22, 32.9 lakh domestic tourists visited Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Currently, there are flights from Agra to three cities – Lucknow, Mumbai, and Bhopal. Once the ongoing present is completed, direct flights from other major cities will begin to arrive in Agra.

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