Visakhapatnam: The Air Travellers’ Association of India (ATAI) has alleged that Bhogapuram International Airport Ltd (BIAL), which received a loan of Rs 868 crore from the Nabard, has diverted the amount for constructing temporary facilities in Amaravati.
Responding to a report in these columns that the government gave away the land at Rs 1, ATAI president D. Varada Reddy said the land for airports at Orvakallu in Kurnool district and Racharlapadu in PSR Nellore district was already acquired during the Rajasekhara Reddy regime.
It is also a well-known fact that out of eight airport developers, three experienced developers backed out stating Bhogapuram airport was unviable.
Even five developers also gave up the airport as not viable, since an investment of Rs 2,240 crore cannot be recovered unless taxes are levied, making the travel through Bhogapuram airport five times higher than the existing one in Hyderabad.
“The Government of India has also stated that no techno-economic survey has been received on Bhogapuram airport. In these circumstances, Bhogapurtam airport is a distant dream and it will be wiser on the part of the Government of AP to accept reality,” he added.
On airports at Kurnool and Nellore, he said the airports with one or two operations would be unviable and no operator will be willing to operate such an airport, let alone develop.
“No techno-economic and feasible reports of airports at Nellore and Kurnool have so far been made. In fact, the ATAI was the first to suggest to Dr Rajasekhara Reddy’s government to restore unused airports at Badangi, Donakonda, Tadepa-lligudem, Ramagundam, Adilabad and Warangal. Before bifurcation, it was intended to extend inter-district connectivity since the state was large,” he said.
Mr Varada Reddy further said now after bifurcation, Badangi airport was handed over to the Indian Navy and no attempts were made to operationalise Tadepalli-gudem and Donakonda strips.
“Before venturing out into uncharted areas, it is better to make an economic and feasibility survey. With empty coffers, the Government of AP is not even able to get developers who can invest in any airport project,” Mr Varada Reddy said....