ANANTAPUR: The Puttaparthi Airport would soon get a facelift and begin commercial operations, said industries minister Mekapathi Gowtham Reddy. He said the government was firm on developing Anantapur district as a hub of biotech parks following available feasibility.
The Puttaparthi airport was defunct and confined only to rear visits of VVIPs through chartered flights for many years and the airport had no night landing facility and has been badly neglected after the demise of Sri Sathyasai Baba.
In view of long-pending proposals to develop the airport for commercial use, the minister had a meeting with the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust authorities at Santhi Bhavan in Prasanthi Nilayam in the district on Monday. Trustee R. J. Rathnakar, R&B minister Shankar Narayana, MP Gorantla Madhav and MLA Sridhar Reddy were present at the meeting.
Gowtham Reddy told the media that the defunct airport would get operational soon after making necessary changes and developments. The government wanted to speed up the process including land acquisition towards expansion of the airport to provide a terminal for at least 100 passengers. The Puttaparthi airport was inaugurated on November 24, 1990 to serve the super speciality hospital for emergency situations. The 1000-metre-long airstrip was constructed by L&T ECC. It was later extended to enable the operation of jet aircraft. Though there were proposals to expand the airport to provide cargo services, no steps were initiated due to complications in the land acquisition process.
The airport, however, would be operational with commercial aircrafts in six months, sources said.
The minister also announced plans to complete MSM Park in Puttaparthi area in 104 acres. The minister also visited the biotech industry at Kodur village in Chilamathur mandal.
“The government will establish an IT concept city in Anantapur among the three sanctioned in the state. A skill development centre would be established for unemployed youths,” the minister said....