Agartala, Nov 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Tripura government has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to expedite the setting up of an immigration centre at the Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport to commence operations of international flights from Agartala to Bangladesh's Chittagong, an official said here on Wednesday.
The MBB Airport in Agartala became ready to handle and operate international flights after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new integrated terminal building on January 4 last year.
The Civil Aviation Ministry also agreed to declare the MBB airport as an international airport, a Tripura government official said.
According to the Airport Authority of India officials, the MBB airport, located 20 km from Agartala city, is the second busiest airport in the northeast after Guwahati's Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in terms of handling aircraft and passengers.
Built at a cost of Rs 500 crore and with a built-up area of 30,000 square metres, the new integrated terminal building at the MBB airport has been designed to handle 1,500 passengers, including 200 international passengers, during peak hours and it is equipped with all modern amenities.
Officials said that Tripura Transport Minister Sushanta Choudhury on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Union Home Minister requesting him to expedite the setting up of an immigration centre to commence Agartala-Chittagong international flight operations immediately.
The minister in his letter mentioned that the Ministry of Home Affairs (Immigration Division) had earlier requisitioned the deployment of 25 police personnel (20 sub-inspectors and 5 constables) in different ranks for the smooth functioning of the proposed immigration counter at MBB Airport.
Accordingly, the state government has already deputed 10 police personnel on a deputation basis to the Bureau of immigration at MBB Airport for operationalisation of the immigration centre and committed to deputation of another five police personnel as and when required later.to
Earlier, SpiceJet had agreed to operate passenger flights three times a week between Agartala and Chittagong, and the state government has also assured to provide Rs 15 crore as a viable gap fund to bear the initial loss, if any, to operate the flight on the new international route and to make the service sustainable and affordable for the people of both countries.
However, it has been delayed for more than a year due to the non-availability of immigration facilities at the airport.