Published On:December 21 2015
Story Viewed 1511 Times

Airport projects fail to take wing.

Bifurcation came as a blessing in disguise for a few airports in the State this year. Post bifurcation, the otherwise quiet airports of Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati witnessed hectic activity in the last one year, thanks to the frequent visits of industrialists, dignitaries, authorities and politicians.

Amid this hectic activity, the government has planned to develop a few other airports in the State and launch new ones.

But due to the inordinate delay in grounding of the projects and stiff opposition by locals, many of the projects failed to take off as expected this year.

Among all airports in the State, authorities during the Collector’s conference held here during September, claimed that Gannavaram airport had registered a traffic growth of 101.5 per cent against the national average of 18.1 per cent. Tirupati airport recorded 48.6 per cent growth followed by Rajahmundry airport (35.9 per cent) and Visakhapatnam airport (45.6 per cent).

As a matter of fact, even leading metros such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru recorded 24.3 per cent and 29 per cent traffic growth respectively. Buoyed with this growth, the government had intensified its plans to construct new airports at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram and Kuppam in Chittoor district and expand the airport in Rajahmundry and Gannavaram, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. In addition to this, plans were drafted for developing new ones at Orvakallu in Kurnool, Dagadarthi in Nellore, Nagarjunasagar in Guntur and Donakonda in Prakasam.

Save for the launch of new terminal launch at Tirupati airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there was no considerable development at other airports.

The ongoing development works undertaken at Gannavaram are going on at a snail’s pace. Despite the government’s resolve to go ahead with its ambitious plans for setting up an aerotropolis at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district, villagers, especially land owners and farmers are stiffly opposing the move.

Nearly 15,000 acres of land is proposed to be utilised for the project. The government issued a land acquisition notice on September 1. Yet, the villagers opposed the project and a few times obstructed authorities from conducting the land survey.

Similar is the case with the proposed airport at Gudupalli in Kuppam – the home town of Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu. Villagers vehemently opposed the project.

The Hindu

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