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Centre's help sought to expedite work on airport expansion

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, JUNE 17. The office-bearers of the Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC) have appealed to the Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Oscar Fernandes, to take steps to speed up work on the expansion of the Mangalore airport and other projects funded by the Union Government.

Addressing a press conference here today, K. Thejomaya and Kodijal Ibrahim, vice presidents of the DCC, alleged that due to the neglect of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government, several works could not be completed in the district during the past five years, despite the initiative taken by the State Government.

Mr. Thejomaya cited the widening of national highways 17, 48, and 13 and said work in this regard was yet to be taken up. Though there was a separate national highway division based in Mangalore, the previous NDA Government had not released money to undertake the work so far, he added.

As a result the work could be delayed further if the Union Government did not initiate action in this regard.

The establishment of a full-fledged passport office at Mangalore and work on the Mangalore-Hassan railway line and the Bajpe International Airport had been delayed under the NDA regime, he said.

Mr. Ibrahim stated that the three projects had been given priority by the previous S.M. Krishna Government. Even the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, had also promised to pursue the matter with the Centre, he said and added that the projects should be completed at the earliest.

A delegation of the Congress workers from the district including Mr. Thejomaya, Mr. Ibrahim, and M.A. Gafoor, President of the Udupi District Congress Committee, met Mr. Oscar Fernandes in Bangalore on Wednesday, he said.

The President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, B. Janardhana Poojary, the Chief Whip of the Congress, Abhayachandra, Mr. Dharam Singh, and Mr. Fernandes assured the delegation that their plea would be looked into, Mr. Ibrahim added.

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