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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct Air India (AI) authorities to begin flight operations between Jharsuguda and New Delhi, thereby connecting it with Bhubaneswar and Delhi.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik requested for having Veer Surendra Sai Airport at Jharsuguda as a stop-over for one of the national carrier's flights from Bhubaneswar to Delhi. "One of the existing flights from Bhubaneswar to Delhi could have a stop-over at Jharsuguda, connecting it immediately with New Delhi and Bhubaneswar."

"Jharsuguda is located strategically in the industrial and mining belt of Odisha, and is a critical point of connectivity to western Odisha. During the inauguration of Jharsuguda Airport on September 22, I had offered full support of state government for running of commercial flights and had requested for commencing Air India flight operations from Jharsuguda to Delhi," he said in the letter.

The CM further stated, "After inauguration of Jharsuguda Airport on September 22, 2018, Air Odisha had started flying operations under RCS-UDAN. Unfortunately, Air Odisha has suddenly suspended operations since November 6, 2018 without any valid reason."

"I would, therefore, once again request you to kindly instruct Air India Authorities to take immediate steps for fulfilling the aspirations of the people of western Odisha to have air connectivity," Naveen mentioned.

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