Agartala, March 28, 2023: Tripura’s Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport in Agartala city has adequate infrastructure for 24-hour flight services. However, 24-hour air service is not possible at the moment due to the lack of personnel of the central industrial security forces engaged in security, said Transport Minister Sushant Chowdhury on Tuesday in the state assembly.
In response to a reference period notice raised by Chief Whip and BJP MLA Kalyani Saha Roy about a news published in vernacular daily on Tuesday over cancellation of 24-hour air service proposal.
Chowdhury claimed that the problem will be resolved very soon through discussions with the Centre. He hoped for a permanent solution during his visit to Delhi in the first week of the April next.
Addressing the house, the Transport Minister Chowdhury said that the Maharaja Bir Bikram International Airport is one of the best among the states in the North-Eastern region. The airport has all kinds of modern infrastructure. But, it is not possible to provide 24 hours air service at the moment because there is a shortage of personnel of the central industrial security force engaged in security work. A total of 342 CISF personnel are required for 24-hour air service. However, there are currently 230 CISF personnel at the airport.
He claimed that a letter was sent to the Union Home Secretary on March 18 last in this regard. Union Home Ministry has been requested to consider sending required number of CISF jawans to Maharaja Bir Bikram International Airport. He hoped that very soon the Union Home Ministry would respond to the Tripura government’s request and 24-hour flight services would be launched.
To an additional question, MLA Kalyani Saha Roy said that many domestic and international flights fly through Tripura’s skies. But, emergency landing is not possible at MBB Airport at night. Hence, 24-hour flight services are essential to avoid major untoward incidents. She added that many people come to Tripura in the morning and want to return at night after finishing their work. But, it is not possible as there is no night flight service. Hence, 24-hour service at Maharaja Bir Bikram International Airport is now the need of the hour. The Transport Minister assured that the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Union Home Ministry will take necessary measures to solve the problem.
Addressing reporters outside the Assembly, the Transport Minister Chowdhury said that a letter will be sent directly to the Union Home Secretary in addition to the Union Home Secretary in a couple of days. Moreover, he will visit Delhi in the first week of April and directly discuss the matter with the Union Home Secretary. He is sure that a permanent solution to the problem will come out during his visit to Delhi. He added, there will be a problem with the fire brigade and the Tripura Government will take necessary measures to address it.