Thursday, December 26, 2019

Shivamogga’s wait for airport may finally be over

Shivamogga: The airport project at Shivamogga has got wings, again, with chief minister B S Yediyurappa taking up the project seriously. At a recent meeting in Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, the chief minister directed the officials to expedite the works.
The project to build an airport at Shivamogga started much before the one in Kalaburagi did, but the same has been delayed due to various reasons, mainly the lack of political will.

Yediyurappa, during his earlier stint as the chief minister in 2008, had laid the foundation stone for the airport proposed on 900acre land at Sogane village, 10km from here. With Gali Janardhana Reddy holding the tourism portfolio then, Maytas Infra of Satyam Computers had bagged the projecRegional Dec 2019t. However years later, Satyam went into turmoil because of alleged financial irregularities, prompting Maytas Infra to back out from the project.

After Yediyurappa handed the project to Regional Airport Holdings International (RAHI) in 2010, its officials inspected the place at Sogane. They did not find the place feasible because of its proximity to Machenahalli Industrial Area having chimneys and mobile towers and the like. Following the observation, it was decided to lower the chimneys. Officials of Airport Authorities of India (AII) okayed to build 1.2km runway.

In the meanwhile, Congress leader from Kalyana Karnataka (formerly Hyderabad-Karnatak) region, Mallikarjuna Kharge, put in lot of efforts to get the PWD to build the airport in Kalaburagi. However, the Shivamogga project got a raw deal under the coalition government, of which Congress was a part. Because of this, the land has now turned a grazing land for farmers’ livestock — cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats. Abandoned buildings on the land have become a safe haven for drunkards and illegal activities. The gravel dumped by RAHI to build the runway has also disappeared.
26/12/19 Times of India

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