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Punjab, Haryana slug it out over name of airport

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana are slugging it out over the name of an international airport proposed on Punjab land adjacent to Chandigarh.

While Haryana wants it to be named Chandigarh International Airport, Punjab is pitching for Mohali International Airport. Airport Authority of India had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the governments of Punjab and Haryana for upgradation of the Chandigarh (domestic) airport for international flights.

Mohali International Airport was one of the main development planks of Shiromani Akali Dal during its poll campaign in February last year.

After the AAI okayed the project, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal listed it as one of the major achievements of their government. Last week, however, as the MOU was about to be signed, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Congress insisted on inclusion of his State as a partner in the project as setting up of a new international airport involved upgrading existing Chandigarh airport though the expansion would take place on Punjab land.

Hooda contended since Haryana shared Chandigarh as capital with Punjab, it had a rightful claim to be party to the project.

To avoid an ugly situation, Civil Aviation Praful Patel prevailed upon Badal to make Haryana a partner. - PTI

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