Andhra Pradesh

Letter to Civil Aviation Minister aimed at developing Bhogapuram airport: MP

Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Friday. Ministers M. Srinivasa Rao and K. Kannababu are seen.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

YSRCP Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy on Friday said he had written a letter to Civil Aviation Minister (in-charge) Hardeep Singh Puri with an intention of ensuring the development of the upcoming greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram.

Addressing the media here, Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy said every greenfield airport needed financial viability for sustenance, and if commercial traffic was not diverted from the existing airport in the city, the Bhogapuram facility would not be viable.

“It is unfortunate that a section of the media and the opposition parties are giving it a political colour and attributing motives. The present airport neither belongs to the State government nor to the Civil Aviation Ministry. It is under the control of the Ministry of Defence, and the Navy needs it to run its fighter squadron,” he said.

“I have only asked the Union Minister to divert the commercial flights to the new airport only after it is built and ready for operation,” Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy clarified.

Coming down heavily on TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu, he said the former Chief Minister was filled with negative ideas and that was why he had been opposing all development activity in the State.

Referring to the TDP as a NRI party, he said Mr. Naidu was sitting in Hyderabad and talking of development of Uttara Andhra. “Mr. Naidu is against Polavaram project. That is why he has influenced the governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha to file cases against A.P. Despite the opposition, we will complete it by December 2021,” he said.

He also said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy would soon lay the foundation stone for the Bhogapuram airport.

Snipe at SEC

Referring to the local body elections, Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy alleged that State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar was working at the behest of the TDP.

“When we wanted the elections to be conducted, Mr. Ramesh Kumar had deferred them citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he wants to conduct the elections when there is a threat of severe second wave of the virus,” he said.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister K. Kannababu said the YSRCP was not afraid of facing the local body elections as it had come to power with absolute majority. “What is not understood is the motive of the SEC. Why is he keen on holding elections now, when the pandemic is raging?” he questioned.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar did not conduct the elections during the five-year-rule of Mr. Naidu, he said.

Industrial conclave

Tourism Minister M. Srinivasa Rao said an industrial conclave would be conducted on Saturday at the VMRDA Children’s Arena to discuss the issues faced by the industries in the region.

He said representatives from both public and private sectors would participate.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 1:12:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/letter-to-civil-aviation-minister-aimed-at-developing-bhogapuram-airport-mp/article33144968.ece

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