‘With proper infrastructure Kerala could overtake other States’
The construction works of the Kannur International Airport, coming up near Mattannur here, were flagged off by Defence Minister A.K. Antony at a public function on the project site on Sunday.
Inaugurating the works’ commencement, Mr. Antony said the north Malabar region would get a major facelift with the completion of the airport. Though Kerala registered growth, the northern region was still to get its share of benefits because of lack of infrastructure.
Mr. Antony, along with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, arrived at the project site on a helicopter from Kozhikode around 2.30 p.m. “In two years, big aircraft will land here,” Mr. Antony said. The greatest challenge before the State government was to complete the project by December 2015. “Development is a team work, a sort of relay race,” he said, adding that those in charge now should reach the finishing point in time.
The Minister said Kerala was now favourable for developmental activities, and with proper infrastructure, could overtake other States. The Kannur airport project had got support from all sections regardless of political differences, he said.
In his presidential address, the Chief Minister said the airport had been a dream of the region’s people. Approval for tender procedures for the airport terminal works would be given at the Kannur International Airport Ltd. (KIAL) director board meeting scheduled in Thiruvananthapuram on February 3. Works would start in April/May this year. Works on electricity and water supply to the project site had already begun, Mr. Chandy said.Road upgrade
The Chief Minister said the Public Works Department had been entrusted with the task of upgrading eight roads to the airport site. An estimate of Rs. 246 crore had been sanctioned for developing the Thalassery-Kuttupuzha road into a modern highway, he said.
Works on the runway, taxiway and apron works have been awarded to Larsen & Toubro. The estimated cost of the works is Rs.700 crore.