SHIVAMOGGA: The state government will soon float tenders to restart the airport construction work in the city. In reply to a query raised by K.B. Prasanna Kumar, Shivamogga MLA, in the recently concluded Legislature session, Infrastructure Minister R. Roshan Baig said the state government planned to implement the project under a public-private-partnership model.
The government in March 2007 had given its nod for construction of an airport near Sogane on the outskirts of the city, and had acquired 662 acres. Initially, the project was estimated to cost Rs194 crore. It was planned to construct a 3.1 km-long runway, a terminal building, and essential infrastructure to handle passengers and cargo.
The state had entered into a MoU with Shivamogga Airport Developers Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture private firm that bagged the contract in December 2010. According to the MoU, the work was to be completed in 24 months. The work was suspended few months later owing to difference of opinion between the partners of the firm.
As the firm failed to complete the work within the stipulated time, the state government cancelled the agreement in January 2015, and the work has been halted since then. The work on a compound wall, water connection, and runway remains incomplete.
Meanwhile, a team of experts from Airports Authority of India conducted a survey recently and recommended reducing the height of six chimneys of industries in the industrial estate of Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, located adjacent to the project site, to ensure safe operation of aircraft. In addition to this, it was recommended to shift an electricity line of 22 kv capacity that passes through the project site.