Asserting state government’s commitment to develop regional airports, Industries Minister R V Deshpande on Wednesday said there is a proposal to develop airstrips in different parts of the state. “We understand the importance of regional air connectivity and its benefits in the development of tourism sector in the state,” Deshpande said in the Assembly.
Pointing out at a few airports that are in different stages of development, he said, “We have planned airstrips in Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Uttara Kannada and other places.” Deshpande was replying to a query by Govinda Karajola (BJP) on the delay in completion of Vijayapura airport. Stating that the state government was awaiting central government’s response on the Vijayapura airport project, the Minister said 727 acres had been acquired for the purpose.
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The land is not levelled and there are boulders, and the company that had been entrusted with the project has expressed its inability. “We are constantly in touch with the Airport Authority and have also conveyed to them that the state government is ready to share 50 per cent of the cost that will incur on levelling of the land,” he said.
“There is no delay on the state government’s part and we have written several letters to the Civil Aviation Ministry and Airport Authority. Chief Minister had also written to the Ministry. Central government’s response is still awaited,” he added. When Karajola questioned as to why the state government cannot take up the project by itself, Deshpande said it is difficult for the state government to develop airports considering various factors including cost. On the airport for Kalaburagi, Deshpande said, it will be ready for commercial operations in one year.