Work on Rs.1,100-crore project to begin on December 17

The much-awaited Kannur airport project is all set for take-off. Work on the Rs.1,100-crore project will commence on December 17.

Announcing this in New Delhi on Saturday, Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the government had already acquired 1,200 acres out of the 2,200 acres required for setting up the airport.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel would attend the launch of the airport's construction work, he said. Mr. Balakrishnan said the government had formed a special purpose vehicle for implementing the airport project.

The cost of implementing the project would be met by the government and private participants on a 51:49 ratio with 26 per cent of the shares being held by the government, 23 per cent by State public sector units and 2 per cent by Infrastructures Kerala Limited.

Sources in the government said in Thiruvananthapuram that the government share would be accounted for by the land value. In the event of the land value being lesser than the government's assigned share, the difference would be made up through future payments and in case the land value was higher than the share portion, the land being given in excess of the value would be considered to be on lease to the company.

Cost overrun

The sources indicated that there was every possibility of the total project cost being higher. The Rs.1,100-crore project outlay was estimated in 2005. The government was in the final stages of identifying an international consultant to prepare the project proposal.

The government had convened meetings of heads of State public sector enterprises and chiefs of cooperative banks to discuss the modalities of their investment in the airport project.

Cooperative banks, it was found, might have difficulty in participating in the project on account of stringent NABARD norms.

The government had also held discussions with prominent non-resident Keralites on the proposal and the response was quite encouraging, the sources said.

  • Praful Patel to attend launch ceremony
  • Special purpose vehicle formed