Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who is also chairman of the Kannur Airport Action Committee, has said that the proposed greenfield airport will be a reality in three years after the completion of the acquisition of land near Mattannur by January 2010.

Speaking at a seminar on the airport development held here on Saturday, the Minister said the government had decided to constitute a high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary to monthly monitor the progress of land acquisition and other activities to accelerate the airport development initiatives. Asserting that there was no shortage of funds for the acquisition of land, he said that Kinfra had already mobilised Rs. 250 crore for the acquisition procedure. Stating that the proposed airport was envisaged as a

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project with the government and the private partners having 24 per cent and 76 per cent stakes respectively, he said the government had already given permission for the registration of a company, namely, Kannur International Airport Ltd., to be floated for the development of the airport. He said the efforts to find out private partners through transparent global tender proceedings would begin after the land acquisition work was completed by January 2010.

As per the present schedule, 485 hectares of land would be taken possession of by Kinfra by the end of this year, the Minister said. He also said the government would also examine a proposal for forming a consortium to involve agencies such as the Airport Authority of India and non-resident Keralites as stakeholders in the airport project. Mr. Balakrishnan said the work for developing infrastructural facilities including roads to the proposed airport would also be taken up simultaneously.

K. Sudhakaran, MP, K.K. Shylaja, MLA, District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan were among those who spoke at the meeting.

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