Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who arrived at Bhuvanahalli here on Sunday, drove straight to the proposed international airport and performed the “guddali puja” (ground-breaking ceremony).

He did not wait for the arrival of Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar nor his minister son H.D. Revanna.

The reason for the hurry was that the former Prime Minister was keen on performing the puja at the auspicious time, which was 9.30 a.m.

As he arrived only at 9.25 a.m., he rushed to the site and perform the puja.

Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Mr. Revanna arrived at the helipad 15 minutes later. Mr. Deve Gowda asked them to perform puja. Mr. Deve Gowda said this only a guddali puja. He said on September 14, Civil Aviation Minister Prafulla Patel would launch the work on the Rs. 1,200-crore international airport.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar would also lay the foundation stone for Rs. 101-crore terminal market for fruits and vegetables in Hassan on the same day.

Mr. Deve Gowda said the Hassan airport would have a high-tech hospital, a pilot training institute and aircraft maintenance unit.

Vital for progress

The former Prime Minister said for the overall development of rural areas, providing air connectivity was vital.Mr. Deve Gowda assured farmers in and around Bhuvanahalli that they would be given good compensation for the acquisition of their land and an alternative arrangement would be made for them.

Airports Authority of India architect Ravi Narayan, Commissioner for Tourism and Information I.M. Vittal Murthy, the former Rajya Sabha member H.K. Javare Gowda, Hassan MLA H.S. Prakash, Deputy Commissioner K.H. Aswathanarayana Gowda, zilla panchayat chief executive officer F.R. Jamaadar and Superintendent of Police Panduranga Rane were present.

After the function, Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Revanna left for Belgaum while Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar left for Bangalore.

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