International Airport status to Raja Bhoj " International " Airport Bhopal

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Bhopal the capital of Madhya Pradesh is struggling hard for the survival of its airport which is named after ruler Raja Bhoj  (reigned c. 1010–1055 CE) who was an Indian king from the Paramara dynasty. The Airport is named as Raja Bhoj International Airport Bhopal. In my recent RTI filed to the Ministry of civil aviation, I was informed that the said airport does not have the status of "International" nor any such proposal is pending with the ministry. 

The Airport is designed and has the capacity to handle International operations, immigration, customs and it has ample space to provide night parking and hangers for the maintenance of the aircraft. The runways are recently recarpeted, the building is developed at international standards with attractive interiors. Unfortunately, this Airport is handling total 10 inbound and 10 outbound which are operated by Air India &  Jet Airways for the destinations,  New Delhi (4), Mumbai(4), Jaipur (1) and Raipur (1).

The city has demanded flights for Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Singapore, Pune, Nagpur, Bangluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Srinagar, Goa, Ahmedabad, Patna, Lucknow Kolkata in a recent survey conducted by a social media campaign " Support Bhopal for Air connectivity". 

It is unfortunate at the part from Air India, who terminated flights for Lucknow and  Hyderabad just a few weeks before the forthcoming Diwali- Christmas vacations for the reasons unknown to the citizens of Bhopal.  It also failed to start declared Bhopal -Pune flight which was declared last year with great expectations. The Bhopal airport is also declared in UDAN scheme, but it has so far remained on the papers and in the speeches of the leaders.

Bhopal is proud to have Institutes of international standards. Gandhi Medical College* and Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology ** are the oldest Institutes of fame which have given thousands of eminent Doctors*, Engineers**, and Architects** to various organizations in India and Abroad.

Other noted professional institutes which have given identity to Bhopal city are - (AIIMS Bhopal) All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institue of Forest Management,  IIIT- Bhopal, National law University, National Judicial Academy, National Institute of fashion technology,  Institute of Hotel Management.

There are more than 80  Engineering - Pharmacy- Management Institutes which makes the city as Nominated educational Hub of India. These Institutes have given thousands of IT professionals who are working abroad and in cities Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangaluru. 

Bhopal has renowned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Crompton Greaves, Hindustan electro graphite Ltd, Eischer tractors, Lupin laboratories and many industries which play a vital role in catering supplies to power and other industrial segments.

Bhopal has plenty of world-famous tourist attractions The magnificent " Taj-Ul -Mosque " which hosts holy Iztima a conclave of Muslim pilgrims, Famous Sanchi Stupa which is a pilgrimage of Buddhists, Stone age rock paintings are hardly 40 km from Bhopal city in a lush green village called " Bheem Bhetika".

Famous Bhojpur or  Bhojeshwar Temple is an incomplete Hindu temple in Bhojpur village of Madhya Pradesh, India. Dedicated to Shiva, it houses a 7.5 feet (2.3 m) high lingam in its sanctum. The temple's construction is believed to have started in the 11th century, during the reign of the Paramara king Bhoja. Bhojpur also has an unfinished Jain temple containing a 6-meter-tall statue of Bhagwan Shantinath and two statues of Bhagwan Parshvanath and Bhagwan Suparshvanatha.

A city with Beautiful lakes, iconic cultural centers like Bharat Bhawan, Tribal Museum, naturally developed national park " Van Vihar "   and hill station of M.P Pachmarhi which is 5 hrs drive from Bhopal, Narmada river - Hoshangabd (70 Km), Tawa Dam resort ( 100 Km).

In recent years the city has become a choice for Film shoots for natural scenic locations and many TV & Cinema artists, Models who have marked their presence in the Mumbai Film Industry.

No city in India can ever claim such Multidimensional image and thus Bhopal has become a preferred city of migration for people who are attracted to the natural and cultural beauty of Bhopal city.

More than a Lac NRI's born and brought up in Bhopal and surrounding cities are settled in  USA, UK, Australia, UAE, Singapore, Germany and are other countries, they visit Bhopal during the vacations and find it difficult to get adequate air-connectivities after their international travel up to Mumbai or Delhi and further to Bhopal, resulting hectic travels in trains or long layovers to wait for next connecting flight for Bhopal.

I on behalf of all the  fliers from Bhopal, appeal you  to sign this petition and  request The Government of Madhya Pradesh, Ministry of civil aviation to declare Bhopal Airport as an  " International Airport " and to invite Private Airlines for starting their operations from Bhopal for  Domestic - International destinations as mentioned in the para (2) of this petition.

My lone voice is not sufficient to reach the ears of the policy makers, I/ we need to create a thundering noise so that entire India hears about our concern for the fate of the city " Bhopal".

With Regards,

Dr. Tushar S Kulkarni

( A Member of Support Bhopal for Air connectivity )