It gets a new name and a new terminal
The five-year-old international airport at Devanahalli was officially renamed Kempegowda International Airport even as the newly terminal T1 was commissioned on Saturday.
Presiding over the function on the airport premises, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah paid tributes to the farmers, who had sacrificed their land for the airport project. As much as 4,300 acres of agricultural land was acquired for the airport at a compensation of a mere Rs. 5 lakh per acre, he said.
“Today, because of the airport, land prices have shot up and it ranges from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 4 crore an acre,” he said.
Terming the renaming of the airport after Kempegowda as a fitting tribute to the 16th century ruler and founder of Bangalore, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, who inaugurated the terminal, said the upgraded terminal would meet the expectations of the people.
He said following the Planning Commission’s recommendation, the process for privatising airports at Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Lucknow and Ahmedabad has commenced.
Mr. Siddaramaiah also announced that a statue of Kempegowda would be erected in front of the terminal. The roof of the terminal building will be used to harness solar energy as part of BIAL’s green initiative programme.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal and several State Ministers were present, along with a host of officials and representatives of concessionaires.
G.M. Rao, Chairman of Bangalore-based GMR group, which manages airports in Hyderabad, Delhi and Istanbul, was present along with Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank R.K. Dubey.