Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is likely to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the international airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district in January 2022.
With a clear indication to this effect from the Chief Minister’s Office, the district administration has accorded top priority to completion of the land acquisition process for the project that is expected to spur economic activity in the North Andhra region.
The proposed airport on the Chennai-Kolkata national highway is at a distance of 40 km from Visakhapatnam, 20 km from Vizianagaram, and 50 km from Srikakulam.
The government, which has been facing a lot of flak for prioritising welfare programmes at the cost of developmental works, is reportedly trying to disprove the charge by speeding up the project work.
The GMR Group, which had developed the Shamshabad international airport in Hyderabad, had been selected for the project.
The stone for the facility at Bhogapuram had been laid during the TDP term, but the construction activity was dogged in delays as land acquisition could not be completed.
The GMR Group is reportedly pressing the government to speed up the process to prevent further escalation of the project cost.
The project had initially been proposed in an extent of 5,311.88 acres. Later, the government decided to construct the airport in 2,631.63 acres. So far, only 2,542.16 acres could be acquired. The remaining 89.47 acres will have to be acquired in the villages of Ravada, Ravivalasa, Savaravilli, and Gudepuvalasa.
The property owners had approached the court opposing land acquisition, and the officials were trying to convince them saying that the project would spur economic activity.
District Collector A. Suryakumari told The Hindu that land acquisition had almost been completed, except in a few stretches. She said land was also being acquired for laying the approach road to the airport from the national highway.