By: Pradip Chakraborty
Agartala(Tripura): For long time a popular demand has been rounds to convert Agartala airport situated in the border town into a mini international airport. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also made similar demands at various forums.
The Bangladesh Business groups are also demanding the same for the last few years. The business forums are demanding to connect Agartala with the Bangladeshis business capital Chittagong and capital Dhaka by air so that export and import may go up .
The Bangladeshi business groups can easily come to Agartala and similarly Indian Businessman can avail air travel to Chittagaong and Dhaka. Presently the Bangladeshi business tycoons are moving to Agartala by road through Akhura International check post. Tripura businessmen who are involved in export and import business are also plying on roads to visit important business centres in Bangladesh.
The Airport Authority of India(AAI) have started work for the upgradation of the airport. Work on the new terminal building has already started and the runway extension work icontinues. It is expected that the work would be completed within a span of 2 years.
Due to the communication lag between the two countries various business groups from the neighbouring country of Bangladesh have already established their production units in the state capital Agartala.
Popular groups from Bangladesh like PRAN is producing several items in their outlets situated in Agartala . Pran is a a household name dealing with beverages and dry fooditems in their Bodhjongnagar Industrial centre. They have also set up an office in the capital city Agartala.
Pran group authorities say that there are nearly 200 trained emloyees like engineers, chemists and MBAs who are stationed in Agartala.
Recently Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar also raised similar demands to upgrade Agartala Airport into Mini Airport. According Sarkar the sunlight in the airport continues for a longer time and is just next to Guwahati International Airport as far duration of sunlight is concerned . Major players in the aviation sector operates their flights to Agartala. Flights are frequently operated by several airlines, such as SpiceJet, Indigo, and Air India. The popular routes from this airport include 10 weekly flights between Agartala and Kolkata and 7 weekly flights between Agartala and Guwahati.
Other airlines that provide scheduled flight services to the Agartala Airport include Jet Airways and Jet Lite. Cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Imphal, Silchar, Aizwal, Hyderabad, and Bangalore and Coimbatore are also are directly connected by air with Agartala.
The Agartala Airport is situated 12 kilometers towards the northeast of the capital city of Tripura and is the second busiest airport in Northeast India. The airport was established in 1942 by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur.
During the Second World War, the Agartala Airport was used by the 4th Combat Cargo Group. It was also used as the supply point from where pellets of ammunitions and supplies were air-dropped for use by the Allied forces.
Climate of Agartala is also influenced by the monsoons, with a humid subtropical climate that is characterized by much rainfall throughout the year. Travelers can best enjoy travel to this city during the months of September to February.