Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be urged to give the go-ahead for realigning Mysore–Nanjangud highway to facilitate extension of the runway of Mysore airport.

Mysore MP A.H. Vishwanath, who reviewed the project here on Saturday, said the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Authority (KIADB) would be directed to acquire 158 acres of land to be handed over to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take up road diversion.

Likewise, the KIADB will be directed to acquire additional 142 acres of land for the runway expansion, he said.

Mr. Vishwanath said a coordination committee will be constituted to keep up the pressure on different stakeholders and to review the progress, while a meeting of the Chief Minister and the Union Civil Aviation Minister along with senior officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be held in New Delhi in due course. There was also a demand for early morning departures from Mysore and this would be discussed with the Director General of Civil Aviation and other authorities, he said.

He said the previous government had a negative approach towards the Mysore airport expansion, but the present Congress government was positive about it. “This is a long term project that will have a bearing on industrial development and tourism expansion of Mysore, and hence we do not want to rush through the highway expansion as investment should not become redundant if airport was to be expanded at a later stage,” he said.

The Centre had sanctioned Rs. 140 crore for upgradation of Mysore airport but this was not fully utilised by the BJP Government in the State.

This money may lapse if no steps were initiated now and infrastructure projects like airport expansion cannot be stalled on the grounds that the cost of land acquisition has gone up, he added.

The NHAI representatives said the four-laning of Mysore–Nanjangud road was taken up consequent to a communiqué by the then State government that it would not go ahead with airport expansion.

However, it was pointed out that the NHAI had also approved the plans for highway realignment subject to the State providing the land.

The Mysore airport is spread over 475 acres and the second stage expansion plan requires an additional 330 acres of land, of which 188 acres had already been acquired.

On expansion, wide-bodied aircrafts like A-320 and B-737 can be operated from Mysore.

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