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Mysore airport to be ready soon

June 26, 2008 15:02 IST
Mysore's Mandakalli airport is almost set for operating ATR charter flights in about two months' time and will be ready for regular ATR flights by February 2009, by when the Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) first phase works will have been completed, a delay by two months.

"The runway is more or less completed. Along with it, facilities for taxying, six-km length peripheral road, security wall, office premises and other facilities were in place before March alone, instead of scheduled April. Chartered flights can be allowed once some openings in the security wall are closed, by providing an alternative route to the Mandakalli village," Mysore MP C H Vijayashankar said.

Delay in acquiring about three acres of land required for creating an alternative route to the villagers, is holding up the plugings in the security wall. The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board was directed at the meeting to take up the acquisition work without further delay.

"This will be done in about two months and the airport will be commissioned by September. Otherwise, the airport is ready," he said.

Reviewing the progress of the airport development works with the district officials and the Airport Authority of India (AAI), the MP expressed confidence of the airport becoming operational before Dasara for charter flights.

"The first phase is more or less completed. I am cent per cent confident of the airport becoming operational in two months," the MP said. For regular flights, however, the airport will be ready only by February 2009.

This is because the work on the control tower, which is now in progress, has been raised from four to seven floors for Boeing operations after the phase II works, for which land acquisition for runway extension from 1.74 km to 2.4 km is in progress.

"The control tower height has been raised now alone keeping in sight the Boeing operations planned in the second phase," AAI Engineer Rajiv Gupta said.

Sanction has been already given for the Rs 140 crore (Rs 1.4 billion) civil and electrical works of the second phase. The Karnataka government is providing the land for the entire project, while the AAI is creating the airport infrastructure, he said.

KIADB Special Deputy Commissioner Vijayashankar said 311 acres are needed for the second phase of which 268 acres are in different stages of acquisition. The remaining 50 acres will be made available to AAI depending upon its requirement. The first phase covers 524 acres.

The Mysore-Ooty national highway will be shifted 2.5 kms to the east of the present location for facilitating second phase expansion, which will become part of the six-lane highway to the hill station.

The BJP MP said chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had assured him that the Bangalore-Mysore Nandi Infrastructure Corridor project would certainly be taken up.

Reiterating his opposition for Chamalapura thermal power plant, Vijayashankar said power minister Eshwarappa would hear public views on the proposed plant near Mysore on June 29 and submit a report to the government for Cabinet consideration.

BS Reporter in Chennai/ Mysore
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