News Karnataka
Tuesday, November 29 2022

For want of funds, Vijayapura Airport works likely to be delayed

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Vijayapura: The ongoing works of the airport is possibly going to get delayed further owing to technical reasons, mainly due to the government not giving permission for the third phase of the works.

For the airport which is being developed near Burnapur Village of the Taluk, the government had asked the contractor to complete the first phase of work by December end last year.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the work of developing the runway has been suspended. It is expected to start only after the government’s approval for the third phase of the project. The third phase of the project requires around Rs. 120 Crore. While the first phase is for construction of runway, the second is for development of other infrastructure such as terminal building.

In the third phase, it is planned to have a bigger runway to accommodate Airbus – 320 and other cargo flights. The airport is being developed by the Public Works Department.

V. R. Hiregoudar, Executive Engineer of PWD said that in the first phase works it was decided to develop the runway for the operation of only ATR-72 planes. “Now it has been decided to develop the runway for the operation of Airbus – 320 and cargo flights under third phase works. The runway development works will only be resumed once we get approval for the third phase works”.

He said that in order to operate Airbus – 320 and cargo planes, the runway should be thicker and broader compared to that of ATR – 72 planes. Even the length has to be increased by  at least one kilometre for the bigger flights.

While it was first planned to have a runway 2.6 kms, now it has to be increased to 3.6 kms as per the changed plan. The height of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) building should also be increased and the plans of developing apron and isolation bay have to be altered.

“We will soon submit the report to the government and seek nod for the third phase works,” Hiregoudar explained.

Earlier, the State Government had planned to develop the airport in two phases at an estimated cost of Rs. 220 crore, where as the first phase works is valued at Rs. 95 Crore and second phase at Rs. 125 Crore.

“The first phase works kick-started in the first week of January, 2021. The tender for the second phase works has been completed and work order is expected to be issued in a week or two,” claimed sources in PWD.

The State Government had assured of completing the airport works by the end of 2022. However, even after one year the first phase works are yet to complete and second phase works have not yet started.

According to officials of PWD, “The second phase works has been divided into two sub-phase works. In the first sub-phase only civil works like the construction of terminal building, ATC tower, and compound surrounding the airport will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 106 Crore. In the second sub-phase only aviation and security infrastructure related works will be carried out. However, the civil works excluding the runway of the first phase is being continued.”

Deputy Commissioner P. Sunil Kumar said that the detailed project report (DPR) for the third phase is being prepared. It will be submitted to the government at the earliest possible time and approval will be taken subsequently. Even the Chief Minister has assured of giving a nod and grants for the third phase works during his last visit to the district.”

“At present the authorities have paused only runway works and all the remaining works are under progress. The runway works cannot be taken up until and unless the government gives nod for the third phase works. The second phase works will also start at the earliest as the tender process has been completed. I am keeping a tab on the airport works,” added DC Sunil Kumar.

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