Kiran thanked for taking initiative to release Rs. 52 cr. for land acquisition

Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) president Muthavarapu Muralikrishna on Thursday appreciated Chief Minister's Kiran Kumar Reddy's initiative to release Rs. 52 crore as first instalment for land acquisition for the expansion of Vijayawada airport. “We, at the ACCI, thank all the politicians, officials and bureaucrats who were instrumental for promoting this cause,” he added.

However, Mr. Muralikrishna said the modernisation plan of the airport was kept in the backburner for more than five years and it should be completed as soon as possible. “The amount proposed to be released is not sufficient to meet the cost of the land proposed to be acquired for the airport. The total requirement for the airport modernisation and expansion has been fixed at 495.08 acres”.

The need of the hour was releasing the remaining funds for acquiring the entire land at the earliest. “The urgent requirement is the new terminal building. The existing building is very old with inadequate facilities. It will accommodate only 75 passengers in the departure area and 50 in the arrival hall whereas currently there are three flights being operated every day evening daily with passenger capacity of 272”.

He said with the land available right now, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) could go ahead and build the new terminal. “But there is no land for new approach road and car parking. The government authorities should acquire land in Kesarapalli and Ajjampudi villages for the approach road, car parking and handover to the AAI,” he added.

Mr. Muralikrishna said Vijayawada airport should be upgraded to international airport as it served the needs of seven districts. “There is a substantial NRI population hailing from this region living and working in the US and partly in the West Asia and Europe. If the airport is provided with full-fledged facilities as per the plan envisaged, enormous growth in the passenger traffic both domestic and overseas can be expected,” he said.

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