The Thiruvananthapuram international airport, which has got a Rs.300-crore world class terminal complex, is proposed to be developed as a multi-modal hub in the transport system.

The proposal has been mooted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in view of the new terminal's proximity to the Parvathi Puthanar. The new complex is located 500 metres from the Parvathi Puthanar and the government has constructed a six-lane bridge and approach road to provide connectivity to the terminal.

Airport director V.N. Chandran has written to the State government highlighting the need to explore the Parvathy Puthanar to promote intermodal travel in the contemporary airport management scenario. A collaborative process between the airport management and the State government has been suggested for implementing the project.

Already, the airport has road and rail connectivity. The terminal that has come up on the city side is located 1 km from the Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam railway line. Extension of the rail line from Chaka will offer better rail connectivity to those arriving from across the State and adjoining Tamil Nadu. The 25-km rail link from Connaught Place to Delhi airport has been cited as an example.

The construction of a boat terminal near the terminal would provide access to people travelling by inland waterways. The State has been asked to take the initiative to facilitate the usage of Parvathy Puthanar and to connect it to tourist spots, take steps to clean the canal and make the Kovalam-Chaka stretch navigable.

The close proximity of the new terminal complex to the beach resort of Kovalam can augment tourist traffic. Operating boats along the Kovalam-Chaka stretch will enable the tourists to enjoy the beauty of the backwaters. It is hoped that the leading hotel groups like Taj and Leela in Kovalam will use inland water transport mode that is cheap and non-polluting.

Inspection

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vijayakumar, accompanied by V. Surendran Pillai, MLA; Mayor C. Jayan Babu; managing director of TRIADS T. Balakrishnan; Airport director V.N. Chandran; general manager of AAI V.K. Malhotra; and other officials of the AAI and KITCO inspected the approach road from the NH 47 bypass and terminal and reviewed the progress of work on Friday.

Later, briefing mediapersons, the Minister said the terminal complex was ready for commissioning and would be formally inaugurated this month. The Minister said the State government had constructed the approach road and the bridge across the Parvathy Puthanar at an estimated cost of Rs.81 crore to provide connectivity to the terminal.