J. Balaji

Six new airports will be ready in two years: Yeddyurappa

Mysore airport to be ready by the end of the year

Hubli, Mangalore, Belgaum airports being expanded

NEW DELHI: Karnataka will have six new airports in Mysore, Bidar, Shimoga, Gulbarga, Bijapur and Hassan in two years.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, speaking to select journalists here on Thursday, said some of the airports like the ones in Gulbarga and Shimoga would come up under public-private partnership, for which foundation stones had already been laid. Tenders had been invited from private firms for the Bijapur airport too, and it would be finalised in the next 15 days.

In Bidar, where there is an Indian Air Force (IAF) base, a new civilian airport would be constructed, and the Government had given land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) free of cost. Besides, it had sanctioned Rs. 3 crore, as a special case, to the district Deputy Commissioner for the construction of a terminal building though it was the duty of the AAI to build it.

The Mysore airport, which is in the final stage of construction, would be ready by the end of the year. Besides, the existing airports in Hubli, Mangalore and Belgaum were being expanded and the work would be completed soon.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Bharatiya Janata Party Government had given top priority to infrastructure development for civil aviation, mainly to boost tourism and push the State’s economy. Airstrips and helipads would be built wherever possible, he said.

To make Bangalore a world-class city, he had held a meeting with various officials of civic and urban development departments and discussed plans. The Government would also consider giving early clearance for the Bangalore-Mysore expressway pending approval by the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court.

Naxalism

On naxal activities, Home Minister V.S. Acharya, who too was present, said that according to the Government’s information 18 such groups were operating in Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, and the Anti-Naxalite Squad of the State police was keeping a watch on their movements. Intensive combing activities were on to apprehend them.

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