Special Correspondent

District administration asked to send contour survey report of the land

AAI team of experts visited the site on April 4 PWD to complete survey of the land in two weeks 1,200 acres of government land at Sogane is under unauthorised cultivation

SHIMOGA: It looks almost certain that the government land at Sogane, about six km from here, will be finalised for establishing an airport, if the positive responses given by the team of experts of the Airports Authority of India after visiting the site on April 4, are any indication.

The fact that the district administration has been asked to send the contour survey report of the land is cited as a positive indication that the land is almost selected for the airport.

Deputy Commissioner T.K. Anil Kumar who confirmed it told The Hindu here on Friday that the survey of the land at the measurement of the contour at every 15 metres would be taken up by the Public Works Department and was expected to be completed in about two weeks. He said that the AAI would proceed in the matter on the basis of the contour survey report.

Of the two sites inspected by the AAI team, the one at Sogane was found most suitable, including those of the wind direction and wind velocity. The only problem with it is that the land is uneven and needs to be levelled. The other site near Ayanur was found inadequate in its width for the runway of the proposed airport.

The 1,200 acres of government land at Sogane is under unauthorised cultivation (bagair hukum cultivation) by about 350 farmers since long, with no legal support. As the land required for the airport is only about 400 acres, farmers engaged in the unauthorised cultivation in that particular area are proposed to be compensated suitably.

This assurance was reportedly made by the Deputy Commissioner to the farmers, who held a demonstration at the site, when the AAI team members went round the land at Sogane, requesting that they should not be evicted from the land they were cultivating.

Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who hails from the Shimoga district, is keen on the development of the airport and has made known the Government's commitment that the long pending demand for the airport would be fulfilled once the land is identified. The land proposed for the airport is being finalised taking the future requirement into consideration.

Shimoga can become the favoured destination for the major auto and IT industries if the much needed air link is provided to it, say experts.

It is learnt that auto components manufactured by the local units, which have carved a niche for themselves, have attracted the attention of major auto industries, which have reportedly evinced interest to set up their full-fledged units in appreciation of the highly skilled labour.

The only constraint being cited by them to proceed in the matter is the lack of dependable transport facilities. It is expected that the establishment of the airport will give the much needed fillip to industries in the district