Moily says the runway will be extended to 3,970 metres, from the existing 2,450 metres

A total of 285 acres will be acquired to extend the runway at the Mangalore International Airport and make it truly international, said M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas after a review meeting here on Monday.

Mr. Moily told presspersons that the runway would be extended to 3,970 metres, from the existing 2,450 metres. “The project report will be presented by the Airports Authority of India and after that, suitable infrastructure can be created,” he said.

Road projects

Infrastructure occupied most of the discussion. With the Japanese firm Jaico conducting surveys along with the National Highway department that could lead to a tunnel on NH 75 (Bangalore-Mangalore) through the Western Ghats, Mr. Moily said the ambitious project could come to fruition.

The Minister directed the departments to look into proposals for a “Greenfield” Highway between Chennai and Mangalore, four-laning of the National highway between Mangalore and Karkala, between B.C. Road and Hassan, and between Mangalore and Moodigere through Belthangady. “The Detailed Project Report for Mangalore-Karkala four-laning has been sent, and the work will start soon,” he said.

At the meeting, Mr. Moily also sought the speedy survey for railway lines between Kollur to Uppinangady via Karkala and Padubidri to Venoor via Karkala and Moodbidri. Though the projects had been announced two years ago in the Railway Budget, he said talks between the Railways and the Forest Department had stalled.

He also reviewed the Rs. 911 crore sea wall, funded by the Asian Development Bank, intended to contain erosion along the coast stretching from Uttara Kannada to Dakshina Kannada.

Ultimatum

After a visit to MRPL and the MSEZ earlier in the day, Mr. Moily said oil companies were directed to repair all the roads in the region (Kulai, Jokatte and Surathkal), as well as to ensure that displaced families were given the jobs assured to them.

“The oil companies have 20 days to set things right,” he said.

Rs. 1 crore for blood bank

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) presented the district administration a cheque of Rs. 1 crore for upgrading the blood bank at Lady Goschen Hospital in the city on Monday.

Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily announced that three floors of the Rs. 21-crore new block of the hospital would be completed by March next year, and by the end of the year the project would be completed. “The work is progressing well, and I’m sure the targets will be met,” he said.

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