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India needs Rs 36,000 cr in airports by 2012

June 27, 2007 17:34 IST
The country needs a whopping Rs 36,000 crore (Rs 360 billion) investment for developing airports, two-third of which is expected to come from private players, a senior civil aviation ministry official said on Wednesday.

Airport Authority of India (AAI) and private developers would invest the money to develop half-a-dozen greenfield and 50 smaller airports in the next five years in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and north-east, K N Srivastava, joint secretary in the ministry, said at an aviation summit.

He also said the ministry was in talks with Indian Air Force authorities to allow airlines to use some of its stations during peak hours, beginning with the Hindon Air Force base station in Ghaziabad.

Srivastava said Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion) investment would come from AAI's internal accruals and other sources, while the ministry expected private players such as Tatas and Ambanis to pump in Rs 24,000 crore (Rs 240 billion).

He said the government was planning to build greenfield airports in places like Shirdi and Solapur in Maharashtra, four in north-east and one in Karnataka. Of the 50 smaller airports identified, 12 were in the north-east and eight in Karnataka, besides a few in Bihar, Gujarat and other states.

Srivastava further said response for developing smaller airports, particularly in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat has been so encouraging that industrial houses such as Tatas and Ambanis came forward to bid when Karnataka government offered to set up smaller airports with their expertise.

He also said a committee has been set up under Planning Commission member Anwarul Hoda to suggest steps for building rail linkages from airports in ten cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

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