Kannur: The sky, as well as Keezhallur villagers proud to own a 96 per cent geographical area of the Kannur International Airport, are all set to receive flights from December 9.
As the date is nearing fast, the developmental dreams of the panchayat are also soaring high. Though the airport is close to Mattannur town, nearly 96 per cent of it sits in the Keezhallur panchayat.
Besides expectations of new employment and business opportunities for the local community, the panchayat authorities are expecting a 100 per cent increase in tax revenue once its operations reach full swing.
Keezhallur will have to meet the hotel room requirements that will emerge once the airport is fully operational.
There are already some 400 applications for new construction projects and most of them are residential buildings and 50 per cent of them are ready.
“Offering housing facilities would ensure a decent income for the people of the panchayat,” said panchayat president P. Rajan.
“Earlier the panchayat authorities had initiated steps to identify unoccupied houses in their jurisdiction and to persuade their owners to give them on rent for employees of the airport and staff of other companies associated with the airport operations. We could identify around 100 houses and 60 per cent of them have already been given on rent. There are 30-40 unoccupied houses still available.”
Two malls with 100 commercial spaces are already available, and an air-conditioned godown offering storage facility for perishable goods is coming up here. Three industrial parks proposed by KINFRA also are coming up in Keezhallur and nearby panchayats. The panchayat has also initiated steps to allow electric auto-rickshaws considering the expected transportation requirements.