Published On:March 5 2024
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UDAN: Maharashtra Allocates ₹561 Crore Budget for Nine Airports

The Ministry of Civil Aviation initiated the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) - UDAN in October 2016 with the goal of boosting regional air connectivity and making air travel more accessible to the public. The UDAN scheme is designed to connect unserved and underserved airports across the country by revitalizing existing airstrips and airports.

Nine airports in Maharashtra have been earmarked for revitalization and operation under the UDAN scheme: Kolhapur, Jalgaon, Solapur, Amravati, Nanded, Nasik, Ratnagiri, Gondia, and Sindhudurg. A total budget of ₹561.20 crores has been sanctioned for the development of these airports in the state. Kolhapur, renowned for its foundry, leather shoes, sugar trade, and jaggery, has received the highest budget allocation of ₹305.93 crore, with ₹296.59 crore (97%) already utilized.

Amravati, located in the Vidarbha region, has been allocated the second-highest amount of ₹100 crore, of which ₹66 crore has been utilized to date.

Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, famous for their scenic beauty and Hapus mango variety, have not received any budget allocation yet. Nanded, in the Marathwada region, has received the lowest budget allocation of ₹0.20 crore, which has been fully utilized. Solapur, renowned for its blankets, has been allocated ₹80 crore, but only ₹15 crore has been utilized thus far.

Industry bodies in the state have been urging the government to bolster the airline network to benefit industries through improved connectivity. Elected representatives from these districts have also been calling on the central government to intervene and negotiate with airlines to operate services in these cities.

Experts note that the UDAN scheme has made significant progress in enhancing regional air connectivity in Maharashtra, with a substantial portion of the allocated budget already put to use. However, challenges remain in ensuring equitable distribution of funds among all identified airports and in maximizing the utilization of the allocated budget.

HBL





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