Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani on Thursday said that establishing international airports between Hubballi and Belagavi at Kittur and in Kalaburagi by acquiring around 3,000 acres of land is certain and these will materialise in a matter of three-four years.
Addressing presspersons in Hubballi on Thursday, Mr. Nirani said that the establishment of international airports is crucial for the development of North Karnataka. “If at all bigger industries have to come to tier-2 and tier-3 cities, international airport, infrastructure of international level and other amenities are a must,” he said.
The State government in its efforts to create the required infrastructure in tier-2 and tier-3 cities has already taken several initiatives and five cities, Davangere, Badami (in Bagalkot district), Raichur, Koppal and Chikkamagaluru, have been identified for setting up smaller airports. Work on these airports will be completed in another 18 months and they will be commissioned, he said.
To a query on the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s criticism about the proposed international airport in Kittur, Mr. Nirani said that he did not know in what context Mr. Shettar made the comment. He also said that he will speak to Mr. Shettar on the issue.
The Minister said that the government has planned to attract investments worth ₹5 lakh crore during the Global Investors Meet (GIM) to be held in Bengaluru from November 2 to 4. And, the major focus will be on attracting more investments to North Karnataka.
To drive home the point, the government is not extending any incentive to investments near Bengaluru. Instead, various incentives and tax concessions are being given for investments outside Bengaluru, he said.
Mr. Nirani said that the government has acquired 50,000 acres of land for the establishment of industries. “While 20,000 acres have been acquired around Bengaluru, the rest 30,000 acres have been acquired in other districts. The State is number one in the country in attracting foreign direct investment and is also number one in ease of doing business. After COVID-19, Karnataka has been the first to hold Global Investors Meet in the country,” he said.
To a query on the delay in approving FMCG Cluster for Hubballi-Dharwad, Mr. Nirani said that it was true that it took time. “But the truth is that never before the government has extended such incentives and exemptions for any industry in the State. As the incentives are more, naturally it took time to approve the proposal. And, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has approved it,” he said.
Vice-Chancellor of KLE Technology University and member of the Vision Group on FMCG Cluster for Hubballi-Dharwad Ashok S. Shettar said that the cluster will bring about 20% growth in GDP of the region.