National

Khan Jahan Ali Airport project gains pace


Published : 17 Nov 2021 04:35 PM | Updated : 22 Nov 2021 08:33 PM

The Khan Jahan Ali Airport Construction Project has now gained pace as the construction work of the dream project will resume soon.

The Khan Jahan Ali Airport is being constructed at Foyla under Rampal upazila of Bagerhat beside the Khulna-Mongla highway.

The propose airport is very close to Khulna city and it was planned to mainly serve the city. The airport will be 25 minutes away from Bagerhat district town and is expected to boost eco-tourism and speed up the activities of Mongla Seaport, Mongla EPZ and shrimp industries.

The foundation stone for construction the airport was laid on January 27 in 1996. After the land acquisition and earth filling was done, the work was stopped due to lack of funds. After 1997, there had been no further development apart from earth filling.

Now the project will be implemented under public-private partnership arrangement. The revised overhead budget for Khan Jahan Ali Airport has been reduced from Tk 545 crore to Tk 217 crore. Its construction deadline has also been extended till June 2020, officials concerned told media.Sources said that the budget for 163 hectares’ worth of land acquisition was initially set at Tk 43 crore, but in the new proposal, an additional 54 hectares will increase the budget to Tk 169 crore. On May 5 in 2015, ECNEC approved the airport construction involving Tk 544 crore. As of June, an amount of Tk 43 crore was spent from the budget.

On July 10, state minister for finance and planning MA Mannan said that the Khan Jahan Ali Airport project has been transferred to a PPP arrangement with a revised budget of Tk 217 crore. Out of total amount, Tk 195 crore will be given by the government, while the remaining amount will be provided by the Civil Aviation Authority. At least 80 percent of the passengers of Jashore Airport come from Khulna. Moreover, an airport is necessary considering the importance of commerce and industries in Bagerhat, Khulna, and potential tourism industries in the Sundarbans.