The Airport Authority of India (AAI) invited bids for soil testing of the land for the international airport project at Halwara. Soil testing is the basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled before the construction of the airport can finally start.
The bids were invited after assurance from the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) regarding demarcation of land for setting up the much-touted airport.
The AAI had invited bids for environmental clearance of the airport last month, the contract for which is in the process of being awarded. Meanwhile, the process of acquisition of 161.27 acres of land by GLADA is in the final stage.
With both the AAI and the GLADA processing the project work for setting up the airport simultaneously, the project is likely to be executed within its stipulated deadline of two years.
Earlier this year, the Punjab government and the AAI had signed an agreement for a joint venture for setting up New Civil International Air Terminal at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Halwara, around 32km from Ludhiana.
Previously, the Punjab government had signed an MoU with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and AAI for the same. The project is to be implemented through a joint venture company (JVC) formed with the majority stake of 51% of the AAI and 49% of the state government through GLADA.
The AAI shall bear all the capital expenditure of development of the new airport, meanwhile the state government shall provide 161.27 acres of land free of cost and free of all encumbrances for the project.
The agreement says the JVC shall bear all the expenditure on operation, management and maintenance including repairs.