BELAGAVI: The district administration has commenced the process of acquiring 57 acres of additional land for the expansion of Belagavi Airport and Airport terminal at Sambra.
The airport was upgraded in 2017 with the expansion of its runway. Then civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the new terminal of the airport in the same year. The state government had provided 370 acres of land for the same. For the upgradation purpose, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) spent Rs 141.4 crore to handle bigger aircraft.
Now, considering the potential of the airport, the AAI has resorted to a second phase expansion of the runway as well as the terminal. AAI has proposed to provide an additional 57 acres of land. Recently, the district in-charge minister Satish Jarkiholi and women and child welfare minister Laxmi Hebbalkar visited the spot, along with the officials, and inspected the area and blueprint of the airport expansion project.
During the meeting, Hebbalkar had objected to the acquisition of land without the consent of the concerned farmers, as the farmers had already given a lot of land for the airport. She had instructed the officials to get the land only after convincing the farmers, considering the market value.
Taking follow-up on the case, deputy commissioner Nitesh Patil held a special meeting with the concerned officials on Wednesday, along with airport director Tyagarajan. During the meeting, the deputy commissioner assured of handing over 57 acres of land as soon as possible to the AAI.
“Only land for the expansion of the runway and terminal will be provided. Before that, AAI should provide a proper blueprint of the project and its utilisation”, the DC said. Meanwhile, he said that according to information, 14 acres of land, which had been given to AAI, has been under the possession of Airforce.
Both authorities should make decisions on that land by mutual discussion, Patil said. Tyagarajan said the AAI has allotted Rs 229.5 crore grant for the construction of the new terminal building and associated works. The new upgraded terminal will cover an area of 20,000 sqmt.