The budgetary proposal for extending the runway of the Kannur International Airport, which is under construction, to 4,000 metres and the greenfield road already in the pipeline as a major road connecting the town to the airport is expected to be a tough task for the authorities in view of the difficulties involved in land acquisition.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in his budget speech had announced that the runway length would be extended to 4,000 metres from the 3,400 metres planned now. Given the difficulties involved in getting additional land acquired for extending the runway from the originally envisaged 3,050 metres to 3,400 metres, both Kannur International Airport Ltd. (KIAL) and district administration officials are aware that it will be a tough job to persuade local residents, likely to be rehabilitated if further acquisition of land is required for further extending the runway, to give away their land.
Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph, at his press meet held at the airport site on Sunday as part of the Information and Public Relations Department’s ‘Oppam’ programme exuded the confidence that the people would cooperate with the land acquisition for the runway extension. He also said that the runway extension would be carried out in the coming phases of the airport project.
The Minister also expressed the hope that the local residents would help ensure that the greenfield road was a reality. The greenfiled road would be inevitable as the existing road connecting Kannur and Mattannur would be inadequate once the airport was operational, he said. He also announced that the government was prepared to announce a special package for land acquisition for the road.
The officials fear that the local action committee of residents that spearheaded the agitation against the greenfield road project might resume the stir. The survey had been stalled due to violent protest by the action committee. The District Collector has been instructed by the government to resume the initiatives to mobilise the support of all stakeholders for the road project.
Runway extension to be tough task for authorities
Budget proposal to extend runway to 4,000 metres