Controversy over Mohali's proposed airport access route widening

01 Oct 2023

The Mohali administration has introduced a new complication in the plan to create a shorter route to Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport. Instead of the initially proposed shorter route starting from the Sector 47/48 intersection on the Chandigarh-Mohali border, they suggest widening the existing Jagatpura road.

This suggestion comes despite Punjab governor-cum-UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit having granted preliminary approval for the shorter route. Currently, commuters must travel to the T-junction near the Indian School of Business, passing Bawa White House, and then turn left towards Airport Chowk before another left towards the airport.

In response to Mohali's proposal, the UT administration vehemently opposes it. They argue that the Jagatpura road is too narrow, making widening difficult. Additionally, ensuring the safety of people traveling to the airport is paramount and cannot be compromised. Therefore, they refuse to endorse this proposal. A senior UT officer emphasised that they have been working for over two years to find a shorter route and cannot accept a plan that endangers airport travellers.

Mohali's deputy commissioner, Aashika Jain, countered these concerns by stating that the estimated cost for widening the Jagatpura road is approximately Rs 11 million. Furthermore, she clarified that the Indian Airforce has no objections to this road as it is at a considerable distance from the airport boundary. Jain also confirmed that the necessary paperwork, including an affidavit for the road, would be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana high court. If implemented, this new route would reduce the distance to the airport from the main road (Sector 48) to just 3 km.