By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 12, 2018: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik once again reiterates his earlier demand to name the new Jharsuguda airport after Odia freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, a tribal leader of Sambalpur who fought the British and died in prison.

Reiterating his earlier request for the airport to be named after Veer Surendra Sai, Patnaik in a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, said it’d be a “befitting tribute to the legendary son of the soil.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate Jharsuguda airport on September 22. Modi will also be laying the foundation stone for the revival of the Talcher fertiliser plant and inaugurate a critical new railway line of the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd

The Civil Aviation Ministry is understood to have so far not acted on Patnaik’s request pointing out that such naming of airports was normally backed by a resolution of the Legislative Assembly, which in this case had not happened.

Patnaik, who will attend the inaugural ceremony, has sought the airport to be used for commercial flights.

In his letter to Prabhu, Patnaik suggested at least on of Air India’s Bhubaneswar to Delhi flights be routed through Jharsuguda. “You might be aware that Jharsuguda is located strategically in an industrial and mining belt of Odisha. Keeping in view the growing importance of this city in western Odisha, I would request you to kindly consider introduction of commercial flights to Jharsuguda,” said Patnaik.

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