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Land acquisition for Hassan airport completed

By Our Staff Correspondent

HASSAN, MARCH 20. The announcement of the Minister of Industries and Infrastructure, P.G.R. Sindhia, that work on the Hassan, Gulbarga and Bellary airports will begin this year has been welcomed by industrials and others here.

The Minister has said that the State Cabinet discussed the economic viability of the proposed Gulbarga and Hassan airport projects and decided to release Rs. 10 crore each initially.

The move to set up an airport at Bhuvanahalli on the outskirts of the city has gained momentum in recent months. The Minister for Public Works and Minister in charge of Hassan district, H.D. Revanna, has said that the former Prime Minister and MP, H.D. Deve Gowda, spoke to the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, about the airport project, and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has agreed in principle to the proposal.

Mr. Sindhia was here last August to review the progress of acquisition of land for the airport and its transfer to the AAI. He assured a team of industrialists that the airport will soon be a reality.

35-year-old plan

The proposal to set up an airport in Hassan was envisaged 35 years ago. According to sources in the district administration, the Government handed over 58 hectares of land to the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 1969-70 for developing an airstrip. Later, an additional 20 hectares was acquired east of Arsikere Road by the Public Works Department.

The Deputy Commissioner, K.H. Ashwathanarayana Gowda, told The Hindu that the Revenue Department and Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) have now acquired 189.6 hectares of land and paid compensation of Rs. 3.82 crores to the landowners.

The Deputy Development Officer, KIADB, Omkaramurthy, said land acquisition has been completed. The AAI has asked the KIADB to submit a report on high-tension wires in a radius of 20 km from the airport project site and a report will be sent soon.

Mr. Ashwathanarayana Gowda said construction of a road to the project site will be taken up soon. It is also planned to lay a road from Hemagangothri to Bhuvanahalli.

The district administration and the KIADB will complete the pending works at the earliest, he added.

Mr. Revanna has said the early completion of the airport will also help those who plan to attend the Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola in February 2006. Experts have recommended that an airfield for 20-seater aircraft be developed initially.

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