Special Correspondent

TIRUPATI: Even as the Union Cabinet has agreed in principle for the conferment of the international status on the Tirupati airport, the district administration on Saturday set in motion the process to acquire about 170 acres of land on either side of the airport to facilitate lengthening of its existing run-way.

The Collector along with other revenue officials was closeted with the officials of the Airports Authority of India, Tirupati MP, Dr. Chintha Mohan and the local legislator, M. Venkatramana on Saturday to discuss the specifics of the logistics required to put the project on stream.

Addressing a media conference the MP said that the central government was keen on a comprehensive development of Tirupati to spur economic and eco-tourism activities fully exploiting its tourist potential.

He said it was as part of the programme that the government of India besides developing the Tirupati airport as international airport also has also decided to develop a tourist corridor linking 17 unique temples located in the Chittoor and the Nellore districts.

He also cited in this connection the facility recently put in place to airlift mangoes through the Tirupati airport to Japan and other countries.

He further cited the Central scheme sanctioned to upgrade the Tirupati-Chennai highway at a cost of about Rs.900 crore and so also to develop the Tirupati-Bangalore highway into a 4-lane road to meet the increased traffic density.

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