India may add 80 airports in next 4-5 years; new rules for aerodromes

News Network
October 2, 2022

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New Delhi, Oct 2: India is likely to add nearly 80 airports in the next four to five years, the aviation regulator has said. However, aerodromes need to fulfil certain requirements to start the operation of flights.

In the last eight years, the number of airports in the country has increased from 74 to 141, and as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, this will grow up to 220 in the next four to five years.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has given 'in-principle' approval for setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country, including Mopa in Goa; Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra; Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka; Dabra in Madhya Pradesh; Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh; Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh; Durgapur in West Bengal; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.

So far, eight greenfield airports -- namely Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Orvakal and Kushinagar -- have been operationalised.

As per the Aviation Ministry, in the financial year 2022-23, the Centre has granted site clearance to the Himachal Pradesh government for development of a new greenfield airport at Nagchala, Mandi. Besides, 35 airports, helipads and water aerodromes are targeted for development during FY 2022-23 under RCS-UDAN.

An official said that for safety purposes, an aerodrome needs to meet the specifications regarding its management systems, operational procedures, physical characteristics, assessment and treatment of obstacles, visual aids, rescue and fire-fighting services, as per the DGCA CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement).

While these guidelines are for the licensing of the aerodrome from the technical point of view, the licence for operation of airports is granted by the Central government as per the Civil Aviation policy.

As far as site clearance for a greenfield airport for public use is concerned, prior to commencing the construction, the owner or developer of the greenfield aerodrome will have to file applications to the steering committee at the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The request for site approval and issuance of in-principle approval in respect of these aerodromes will be dealt by the concerned department in the Ministry as per the greenfield airport policy.

Licence for the aerodromes is given in two categories, including for private use and for public use and usage of private use aerodromes excludes the operation of scheduled flights.

For the public use category, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will grant site clearance and 'in-principle' approval for all proposals as per the greenfield airport policy.

On the other hand, for the private use category, site clearance as well as 'in-principle' approval will be granted by the regulator as per technical assessment of the site and based on usage of the airport.

The 'in-principle' approval granted by DGCA indicates that the proposed airport is essentially meant for non-commercial operations by the licensee and by individuals specifically authorised by the licensee only, said the DGCA, as per the new guidelines.

Explaining the procedure for converting the usage of airports, the guidelines said that the government approvals as per the prevailing policy will be required for this.

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News Network
November 23,2022

Mangaluru, Nov 23: Two of a family lost their lives after allegedly consuming poisonous mushrooms in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district.

The deceased are Guruva Mera, 80, and his son Odiyappa, 41. Both residents of Kerimaru house in Puduvettu village which falls under the limits of Dharmasthala police station.

Dakshina Kannada SP Rishikesh Sonawane said according to a complaint when Karta, 60, left home on Monday at around 3 pm, he saw his brother Odiyappa had brought mushrooms from the forest, cleaning it and getting ready to cook the same.

At that time, his father, Guruva Mera, was resting at home. Karta decided to stay in his relative’s house on Monday. When he returned at around 6.30am the next day, he saw that his father and brother were lying outside the house. 

Since they were not responding, he called his relatives and neighbours for help. On realising that they were dead, he went into the house and noticed that the duo had eaten mushrooms.

An unnatural death report has been registered by the police. The case is under investigation by the police.

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News Network
November 22,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 22: In a new twist to the row over viral videos of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages in jail, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s claim that these were "physiotherapy sessions" has been refuted by sources who say the "masseur" in the video is a prisoner in a rape case.

The man giving the AAP minister a massage in the security videos is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, according to official sources at Tihar Jail. He was arrested last year after his own daughter, a class 10 student, accused him of assaulting her.

The CCTV videos, dated September 13, 14 and 21, are the subject of a fierce row between the AAP and the BJP in the run-up to the Delhi civic elections next month.

The videos surfaced days after the Enforcement Directorate accused Mr Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case, of getting special treatment inside Tihar Jail. The "VIP treatment" allegation led to the transfer of at least 12 Tihar jail officials besides the Director General (prisons), Sandeep Goel.

Mr Jain was seen getting massages and chatting with people sitting in his cell, which is not allowed in prison. Neither are physiotherapy sessions allowed in a prisoner's cell, said officials.

As the videos went viral, bolstering the BJP's demand to move the minister out of Tihar Jail, AAP leaders claimed Mr Jain was receiving physiotherapy for a spinal injury.

AAP has not commented on the new revelation, which was seized by the BJP.

"Rape accused Rinku was giving massage to Satyendra Jain. Rinku Accused under Pocso and IPC 376. So it was not a physiotherapist but a rapist who was giving maalish to Satyendra Jain! Shocking. Kejriwal must answer why he defended this and insulted physiotherapists," tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.

Even on Monday, Arvind Kejriwal strongly refuted the BJP's allegation of VIP treatment to his minister, sticking to the "physiotherapy, not massage" argument.

"They are calling it a massage and VIP treatment, but it's merely physiotherapy," Mr Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of his campaign in Gujarat's Vadodra.

Mr Jain has been in jail since June. A Delhi court denied his bail request last week.

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News Network
November 13,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 13: The National Investigation Agency has arrested one more person in connection with the killing of BJP youth wing leader Praveen Nettaru in Dakshina Kannada district, an official said on Sunday.

Shaheed M, a resident of Masthikatte Road, Bellare village, in Sullia taluk, is the 15th accused arrested by the NIA in its investigation into the murder of Nettaru, a district secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha, on July 26, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

“During the investigations, it was found that Shaheed was part of the conspiracy meeting held at his house by the PFI to target leaders of certain political organisations,” the NIA claimed, adding that he was arrested during searches in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka on Saturday.

The spokesperson said incriminating documents were also seized from the house of the accused during the raid.

The NIA said Shaheed was arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The case was initially registered on July 27 at the Bellare police station in Dakshina Kannada district and later re-registered by the NIA on August 4.

“The investigations revealed that a conspiracy had been hatched by leaders and members of the PFI to murder Nettaru to take revenge for the murder of one Masood and to strike terror among the people,” the spokesperson said. 

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