Land acquisition is crucial, says Bharat Bhushan

Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan said here on Sunday that the acquisition of additional land for Karipur international airport was crucial.

Addressing an interactive meeting organised by the Malabar Chamber of Commerce (MCC) here, Mr. Bharat Bhushan, who was earlier the Director General of Civil Aviation, said the airport currently had a limited runway facility, which could come in the way of the safe landing of wide-bodied flights.

Referring to the Mangalore air crash, the Chief Secretary said such tragedies could be averted only by expanding airport facilities. “People are very reluctant to part with land for the project,” he said.

Mr. Bharat Bhushan said he had even sent top-level Civil Aviation officials to Karipur to settle local disputes and to hold discussions with the public. “But, nothing worked as even the local Revenue officials were afraid of supporting the team. You cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg,” he said.

He hoped that the issue would again be discussed at the Ministry-level and a solution would be found at the earliest. “Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty has agreed to convene a meeting to discuss the issue,” he said.

On other projects for Kozhikode, Mr. Bharat Bhushan said the Steel Complex in Cheruvannur would be strengthened. The Steel Authority of India had made an agreement for this, which would come into effect within a couple of weeks. The government would set up plants for scientific treatment of septage and solid waste.

The Chief Secretary mentioned the government’s plan to realise the proposed gas pipeline project in Kozhikode. “If it materialises, people will get cooking gas at a very affordable rate,” he said.

MCC president Alok Kumar Sabu presided. Historian M.G.S. Narayanan, District Collector C.A. Latha and Additional District Magistrate K.P. Ramadevi were present.

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