Wednesday, May 24, 2017

State government's proposal to develop regional airports fails to take off

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government's proposal to develop airstrips in Tier 2 cities has failed take off with the Centre refusing to be on the same page with the state on the quantum of investment needed to develop them.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah, who holds the finance portfolio, had announced in his budget for 2017-18 that the state government would develop airstrips at Karwar, Madikeri and Chikkamagaluru this year. The proposal was to develop greenfield airports with an investment between Rs 50 crore and Rs 100 crore. The proposal has hit a roadblock with the Centre disagreeing with the state's idea of the low-cost airport.
"The state wants to develop no-frills airports at moderate cost. However, there are some concerns and the government of India is looking into them," said D V Prasad, additional chief secretary, department of commerce and industries.
The main concern, according the sources in the state government, is security as the Centre feels that high security cover cannot be provided to the airports with investment less than Rs 100 crore.
" The Centre believes that security has to be compromised if an airport is to be developed at low investment. While the state government is clear about the plan, we'll convince the Centre the proposal is practical," said C M Dhananjay, chairman, Karnataka State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, the nodal agency to develop airports.
24/05/17 BV Shivashankar/The Times Of India

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