The Surat airport’s Parallel Taxi Track (PTT) and apron project, which is part and parcel of the Rs. 353 crores worth of developmental project including the terminal expansion, is expected to be delayed until 2024.
In a response to a complaint lodged with the Centralised Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) which is monitored at PMO, Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) executive director of engineering (western region), G Prabaharn replied that phase-I work of the PTT/Apron project is expected to get complete by December 31, 2022 and phase-II is likely to be completed by August 31, 2023.
The PTT project’s completion deadline was set for December 2021 and despite giving an extended period due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is not likely to get completed by December 2022.
Few months before AirPort director in a presentation given to AAC-AirPort advisory committee mentioned that both the big-ticket projects of terminal building expansion and the new PTT/apron were likely to be completed by December 31, 2022. This was a completely false claim because even phase-I- work was not complete and phase-II work was not started. It was surprising that why surat AirPort director mislead AAC at AirPort whose de facto chairman is the Gujarat BJP president and Navsari MP, CR Paatil.
Due to such delay of PTT/apron work, there are many operational difficulties arising and resulting in the withdrawal and withholding of existing and new airline plans. Recently, GoAir stopped services as they were denied a night parking facility. Operations aero bridge/parking bays get idle due to inordinate delay in work which is a serious concern for the growth of airlines services at surat airport.
Even the completion date for the Phase-II work by the AAI’s G Prabaharn does not seem to be realistic because July to September is intense monsoon months at Surat to continue with the construction work at the Surat airport.
The contractor hired by the AAI is inordinately delaying the project for ridiculous reasons such as CISF not allowing workers to carry mobile inside the operational area due to security reasons, heavy machines deployed at some other locations, etc.