The state government has fastened its seatbelt to clear all hurdles on the flight approach funnel of the city airport.
Most of the trees posing trouble to the flight operations have been pruned. Billboards on the flight approach funnel have been pulled down. Efforts are also on to stop movement of heavy vehicles on Shahid Peer Ali Path, popular as Airport Road. The road construction department has started erecting barricades on its eastern and western ends.
The move is aimed at ensuring safe take-off and landing of flights through the approach funnel that goes across the eastern end of the Airport Road.
However, in an accident, the barrier that was installed on the eastern end (in front of the LJP office), came down within hours after it was built on Monday. Confirming the incident, road construction department secretary Pratyaya Amrit said: "We had put up a barrier on the eastern end of the Airport Road on Monday evening. But a heavy vehicle broke it in the night. We will erect a new barrier with a signboard. Similar barriers would be constructed on the western end of Shahid Peer Ali Path, in front of the airport entrance gate."
The work on pruning trees along the Howrah-Delhi railway track near Phulwarisharif station is also in the fast lane. The work started after East Central Railway gave approval in the second week of August to prune trees near the station. "Most of the trees near Phulwarisharif station, marked as obstacles, have been pruned and the remaining trees are expected to be trimmed within a week," said a senior state government officer.
Pruning of trees at Shahid Peer Ali graveyard, on the north-eastern corner of the airport, is also expected to start within a couple of days. "The owners of Shahid Peer Ali graveyard have agreed to trim the trees and the work is expected to end within a week," said the officer.
The pruning of 594 trees inside Patna zoo, considered most critical for flight operation, has been completed.
"According to the revised survey on pruning trees inside Patna zoo falling in the funnel width of 75m, we have pruned all the 594 trees. Apart from the critical ones, 294 trees were already cut. There are no trees in the zoo left to be pruned," said Dipak Kumar Singh, the secretary of the state environment and forests department.
Singh added that 110 trees around Phulwarisharif Jail near the south-western corner of the airport would be trimmed within a week.
Earlier, 206 trees up to the height of 3-20m on Circular Road, Tailor Road, Strand Road, McDonald's Road and Shahid Peer Ali Khan Path were pruned in the third week of July.
The AAI had first issued the runway length revision notice on August 3. According to it, the landing distance on the runway 07 (Phulwarisharif-end) was supposed to be reduced from 1,677m to 1,141m. The landing distance on the runway 25 (Patna zoo end) was to be shortened to 1,289m from 1,820m. The decision was taken in the wake of the alleged failure of the state government to remove the obstacles in the approach funnel of the airport. The notification was to come into effect from August 14.
Followed by this development, the state initiated several steps to address the points raised by the AAI. Subsequently, the AAI issued a fresh notification on August 11 stating that the revised runway length would come into effect from August 31. On Monday, a fresh notice was issued that the revised runway length would be effective from September 20.