The project has still remained a pipedream for the people as all efforts made in the past have not yielded result
BIJAPUR: The long standing dream of the people here to have an airport may get transformed into a reality as the Chief Minister, B. S. Yediyurappa to lay the foundation stone for the ambitious project on February 15.
Interestingly, Yediyurappa is laying the foundation stone of the same project for the second time as the CM of the State.
It was on 7 December 2008 that he had first launched the works of Airport at Burnapur village of Bijapur taluk, about ten kilometers from the city.
But owing to various technical glitches, the project could never take off. Leave alone the commencement of the works, even the plaque that was installed at the site, was stolen by some miscreants.
The government had granted 727 acre land for the construction of the airport to a private agency at the cost of Rs. 100 crore.
However the agency withdrew itself from the project citing non-feasibility. The agency demanded additional land for setting up a township.
The government refused to offer more land, stating that it was against the Memorandum of Understanding. After which, the contract got terminated.
Since then, several efforts were made by successive governments to revive it. Even contacted the Airport Authority of India to take up the project. Yet, the project did not take off due to financial constraints and failure of the government to have coordination with AAI.
Now, the BJP government led by Yediyurappa decided to grant full amount for the project without seeking any financial assistance from the Centre.
The government has granted Rs. 222 crore for the project, of which, Rs. 95 crore to be used in the first phase where land will be leveled and the runway would be constructed.
The tender has already been allotted for this work.
Though many experts believe that since Civil Aviation comes under the Central Government, therefore the former should also share the project cost, however the State Government has decided to take up the project on its own.
This decision has also given wings to the project and hopes that the project will get completed this time as there will no issue financial issues since one government is ready to offer required funds.
With this, the hopes of the people to have an airport in Bijapur have gained strength.
Deputy Chief Minister, Govind Karjol who appears to have taken keen interest in the project, has been following it up with the government to ensure that the works are resumed as early as possible.
He has held several rounds of meetings with the officials and also has visited the spot on multiple occasions.
Several leaders across the party lines, not only have hailed the government decision, but also have urged the government to give a logical end to this project.
Karjol has already assured that the project will be completed within the stipulated time and said that before the end of the tenure of BJP government, the flights will start taking off from Bijapur.