Amristar perishables centre collects dust

At a time when airports across India are crying out for cargo facilities, one airport – Shri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport in India’s northwestern city of Amritsar – boasts a specialised perishable cargo facility that lies unused because of lack of connectivity.


At a time when airports across India are crying out for cargo facilities, one airport – Shri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport in India’s northwestern city of Amritsar – boasts a specialised perishable cargo facility that lies unused because of lack of connectivity.

“Fresh vegetables and fruit, industrial products, trade and commercial consignments were being directly hauled by air to various destinations, thus providing opportunities for export to farmers and businessmen alike,” said Punjab CII former chairman Gunbir Singh according to The Tribune. “However, presently the 80-tonne capacity cold rooms are gathering dust and lying idle.

It is imperative that direct air connectivity to London, Toronto and Singapore are reinstated to this important destination,” Singh added.

The airport has seen the withdrawal of various international flights over the last few years, including even the national carrier, Air India in 2010, which used to fly Amritsar-Birmingham- Toronto. Similarly, Singapore Airlines stopped its Amritsar-Singapore flight earlier in 2009 and British Midland International (BMI) pulled out its Amritsar- Almaty-London flight in October 2012.

Jet Airways launched a service between Amristar and London only to discontinue it after a few months.

The airport had a thriving perishables export business between 2007 and 2010 with 1.5 tonne to 4 tonnes being exported every day with green chilli, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, ladyfinger and coriander being exported as far as London.