The fund needs to be discussed and ratified by State Cabinet
The Rs.340-crore allocation, by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, for the expansion of Gannavaram airport runway and construction of a terminal building, technically lapsed on March 31, but all out efforts are being made to save it.
High-profile politicians of Maharashtra had made all out efforts to get these funds diverted for developing the Aurangabad airport in the absence of funds allocation from Andhra Pradesh government for acquisition of land for the runway expansion.
With the Krishna district politicians showing very little interest in brokering a deal between the State government and farmers in the vicinity of the Gannavaram airport, the State government had allocated only Rs.90 lakh, though Infrastructure Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao had promised Rs.70 crore.
In a last-ditch effort, some people interested in the expansion of the Gannavaram airport managed to got a nod for Rs.80 crore for the Gannavaram airport from the State government, but this needs to be discussed and ratified by the State cabinet in its next regular meeting. The sources said that approval could come sometime in early May, and a team of experts from the Airport Authority of India and Ministry of Civil Aviation would come down to Vijayawada to hold discussions with the Revenue department officials and the villagers to understand and remove obstacles for the expansion of the runway.
The experts team, that was supposed to come on Friday, has put off its visit, and that might materialise only in May.