Proposed 2nd NCR airport lands in controversy before take off

Proposed 2nd NCR airport lands in controversy before take off

 The proposal for a second airport in the National Capital Region (NCR) has landed in a controversy over Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma having cleared the project and not the Cabinet Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

Questions are now being asked as to whether such an important decision can be taken by a junior minister at all, official sources said today.

"Such a proposal has to be cleared by the Cabinet Minister as he is the overall in-charge of the ministry. However, the junior minister cleared the proposal in the absence of Cabinet Minister. So, the decision is bound to come under question," sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A top ministry source, however, said he was not aware of any explanation having been sought from Sharma.

"The proposal, cleared by the civil aviation ministry today, would soon be sent to the Cabinet for its approval," Sharma has announced on June 25 after a high-level meeting attended among others by Civil Aviation Secretary Rajeev Nayan Choubey, Air India CMD Rohit Nandan, his Pawans Hans counterpart B P Sharma, Airports Authority of India Chairman R K Srivastava and aviation regulator DGCA chairperson M Sathiyavathi.

Sharma had pitched for Jewar in his parliamentary constituency Gautam Buddha Nagar as the ideal location for the new project, saying it already had around 2000 acres of vacant land, but said other options were also being explored.

He also said that GMR Group- the majority stakeholder in the venture that operates the Delhi International Airport - is proposed to be accorded the right of first refusal with regard to the new project.

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