Kalaburagi: The airport that has been set up here under Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Karnataka at a cost of Rs 175.5 crore, is likely to be inaugurated on Karnataka Rajyotsava Divas on November 1.
This was disclosed by the Kalaburagi MP Dr Umesh Jadhav at a media conference on Sunday.
Speaking to the media, Dr Jadhav said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was making efforts to see that the airport was inaugurated on November 1 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Barring a few civil works which are in the final stages, most of the works have been completed. The Deputy Commissioner B Sharath a couple of days back handed over 743.23 acres of land acquired for the project to Airport Authority of India(AAI) officials.
The District IN-Charge Secretary Kapil Mohan and the Regional Commissioner Subodh Yadav, who chaired separate review meetings, have instructed the officials to complete all ongoing works by the third week of October.
It may be mentioned that the foundation stone for the project was laid by Mr Yediyurappa in June 2008 during his previous tenure as Chief Minister.
The contract for building the airport was given to Gulbarga Airport Development Limited, a special purpose company.
But delays in completion led to the termination of the agreement in 2015 and the state government handed over the remaining work to the Public Works Department.
Initially the government had decided to limit the runway length to 1000 metres, but later extended it to 1970 metres to facilitate the landing of larger aircraft.
However on the insistence of former Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, the length of the runway was further extended to 3,200 metres to enable the landing of bigger aircraft, such as airbus. The width of the runway has also been widened from 45 metres to 60 metres. When his attention was drawn to the delay in establishment of the Railway Division sanctioned for Kalaburagi when Mr Kharge was the Railway Minister, Dr Jadhav initially stated that the division had been sanctioned without the customary approval by the Railway Board and no funds were allocated for it. However when media persons pointed out that Rs 5 crore was sanctioned for the project by Mr Kharge in the budget besides handing 20 acres of land being allotted by the state government, Dr Jadhav changed his stance and assured that he will try his best to get the project for Kalaburagi.
When a reporter pointed out that Bidar MP Bhagwanth Khuba was making efforts to get the railway division for Bidar, Dr Jadhav remarked, “I assure you all that no new Railway Division will come up in Karnataka before the establishment of the Kalaburagi Railway Division.”...