KARNATAKA

Bellary flights to use Jindal airstrip

BELLARY, JULY 16. The Government has decided to make use of the facilities available at the Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Plant at Toranagallu for air services to and from Bellary, which are expected to start shortly.

The runway at the Bellary airport was shorter than the required length of 1,600 metres and the width was less than 30 metres, S.N. Jayaram, Deputy Commissioner, said. There were other hassles for extending the runway: a canal passed nearby, a regulator was installed on the western side and the length could not be extended beyond 30 metres on the eastern side, he said.

Mr. Jayaram said that the runway at the Jindal airstrip had the required length and width and was ready for use with little modification. Moreover, the airstrip at Jindal was located between Hospet and Bellary and Bellary and Hampi.

Keeping all these aspects in view, the Government had agreed to provide the required facilities to enable Deccan Aviation to operate 48-seater aircraft between Bangalore and Bellary (Toranagallu) from October 2, he said.

The flights would give a boost to tourism and economic development in the district. Around 50,000 foreign and about six lakh domestic tourists visited Hampi every year. He hoped that businessmen trading in iron ore and steel would frequent Bellary once the air services began.

Mr. Jayaram said that another round of talks would be held with the Government officials, representatives of Jindal and Deccan Aviation.

Krishna Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, would attend the meeting to be held at Jindal on July 25, he added.

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