A Correspondent

DGCA gives mandatory clearance

NEDUMBASSERY: The proposal for an 18-hole golf course by Cochin International Airport Ltd. on its land has received a shot in the arm with the project obtaining the mandatory clearance from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Shriram Bharath, Managing Director of the airport company, told The Hindu that the clearance was obtained last weekend.

It was obligatory for implementing any project in the vicinity of an airport. With that hurdle crossed, he hoped to complete the project by April 2008.

Minister for Home and Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, speaking to presspersons at the airport a few days ago, mentioned the importance of finalising the project in a time-bound manner for promoting tourism and securing central aid for the work.

The Tourism Ministry was holding discussions with the airport company regarding the project.

Mr. Bharath said the project was estimated at Rs. 23 crore, with central assistance amounting to Rs. 10 crore.

However, if the value of land were also to be considered, the cost would be Rs. 64 crore.

The airport subcommittee granted approval to the project in its last meeting, and negotiations were under way to decide on a consultant for drawing up the design of the course.

He expected a final decision on the appointment at the Board meeting in April.

Once the design was received, the work would take seven or eight months. The project would be implemented in a phased manner.

A club having facilities for games such as badminton and tennis would also be set up.

So would a convention centre, retail centre and five-star and budget hotels.