Naveen Jindal to develop Airstrip at Dumka under CSR, invest Rs 20 crore

RANCHI:  Naveen Jindal led Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) will be investing close to Rs 20 crore-Rs 25 crore under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to upgrade the airstrip at Dumka in the state of Jharkhand.

Company will also set up a flying school over there. Company has signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state govt in this regard here on December 26, 2011.

It is to be noted that JSPL has already made significant progress towards setting up a 6 MTPA steel plant in Patratu in neighbouring Ramgarh district, it is also working towards setting up a power and coal mining project in Santhal Pargana districts of Dumka and Godda.

An MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Arjun Munda, MP and Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of JSPL Naveen Jindal, Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is also in-charge of civil aviation, home secretary J.B. Tubid and other dignitaries here in Ranchi at the state hangar at Birsa Munda Airport.

MOU allows to develop a World War II-era airstrip in Dumka by extending its runway to facilitate night landing facilities for large aircraft, thereby tying in with the Munda government’s promise of rejuvenating the much-neglected Santhal Pargana region.

“We will invest around Rs 20 crore-Rs 25 crore for the development of the Dumka airport,” Naveen Jindal said during the signing ceremony, going on to elaborate on the company’s plans for the airstrip.

“The existing 4,000-feet airstrip will be extended up to 6,000 feet so as to enable big and commercial flights to take off and land. The surface will be smoothened and hangars will be constructed for parking facilities of aeroplanes, helicopters etc. We will also try to ensure night-landing facilities,” added the CMD of the company that is on an investment spree in the region with plans for coal mining and power plants.

Munda said his government was committed to the development of the Santhal Pargana region. “We are working towards improving road, rail and air connectivity in the region. Today’s MoU is an effort towards that,” he said and lauded JSPL for committing to invest in the state.

While the state civil aviation department would monitor the progress of the ambitious project, the onus would be on JSPL to develop, renovate, maintain and expand the airstrip for the next 10 years.

While company has been allotted two coal blocks, Jeetpur and Amarkonda, in the region which are in various stages of development. The company has also proposed to set up two power plants in the region with a cumulative capacity of over 2,600 MW.