Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has written to Basavaraj Somappa Bommai, Chief Minister of Karnataka, requesting his personal intervention in expediting the matters for strengthening of aviation infrastructure in the state.
AAI has embarked upon development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs. 20,000 Crore in the next 4-5 years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country.
Scindia has drawn attention of to Basavaraj Somappa Bommai on AAI that has projected land requirement of 370 acres at Belagavi airport, out of which only 348.6 acres have been handed over. It’s impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector.
Explained : What’s issue at Belagavi ? The Airport Authority of India (AAI), which is unable to take up development works at the Belagavi airport due to unavailability of land, is pushing the district administration to hand over land as per its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government.
As per the MoU, the state government should give 370 acres to AAI but only 348 acres have been handed over. Some of the land allocated to AAI is still under litigation and AAI authorities are struggling in dealing with these litigations.
The Belagavi airport was upgraded four years ago to facilitate operations of bigger flights. For big aircraft like Airbus, CAT-1 lights play a key role. According to airport director Rajesh Kumar Maurya, due to unavailability of land, four CAT-1 lights are outside the compound of the airport.
“They need to be inside the premises and they are costly equipment. The district administration should handover 16.4 guntas for CAT-1 lights on priority,” he said to Times of India .
AAI has not taken been able to take six acres allocated to it on the south of the airport as the land is part of a graveyard meant for Sambra villagers. The district administration was supposed to provide an alternative piece of land for the graveyard, but it has not done so.
A road between Mavinkatti and Honyal villages passes right through the airport compound and AAI wants the administration to build a road outside its compound. The existing road cannot be blocked as it is the main connecting road for both the villages.
Airport authorities are also demanding land towards Kudachi as per the MoU. Airport director Maurya said to Times of India it would be easier to improve the airport if the state government provides land that is not under litigation.
Similarly, AAI has requisitioned for allocation of 240 acres at Mysore Airport. However, the said land is yet to be handed over by the State Government.
The Govt. of Karnataka may take necessary steps to operationalize Shivamoga and Vijayapura airports so that the bids received under RCS-UDAN 4.1 can be considered for award.
Further, the State Govt. needs to communicate its consent for 100% VGF support for the routes to be awarded from these two airports as these are part of State Regional Connectivity Scheme (SCRS).
An amount of Rs. 7.55 Crores is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).
Sources – PTI, Times of India