KIA to Metro, Ananth Kumar's contributions to Bengaluru

KIA to Metro, Ananth Kumar's contributions to Bengaluru

In the 20 odd years as a Parliamentarian, Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s contribution to Karnataka, especially Bengaluru are manifold, playing an integral part of the Indian economy.

Noteworthy among them are his efforts to set the ball rolling for the internationally acclaimed Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), which today stands as the third busiest airport in India today.


He oversaw the framing of policy for the country’s first real public-private partnership in civil aviation space.

It was Ananth Kumar, as a Union Civil Aviation Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government who signed the MoU for KIA in the year 1998. It was due to this MoU/joint agreement between the Centre and the J H Patel government that the project came into existence.

Ananth Kumar ensured that Karnataka got international funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), making the airport project financially viable.   

The detailing of this project was so thorough that it became a model for more such airports across the country -- notably in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

When the project was envisioned, the annual passenger traffic was expected to be around 1 million. The traffic has gone beyond 26 million today.

Also, as a member of National Infrastructure Task Force, he ensured that Bengaluru was included in the Golden Quadrilateral National Highways project.

READ: Ananth Kumar, a man who never saw electoral defeat

Namma Metro

Incidentally, the Namma Metro project too was approved by the Vajpayee government. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the mass transit system was approved by the Centre when Ananth Kumar was the Union Urban Development Minister in the year 2003.

Last year, when there were massive protests over the imposition of Hindi in Metro trains by the Central authorities, Ananth Kumar had taken a pro-Kannada stand. He had said that priority should be given to the use of Kannada language -- followed by Hindi and English. He had said that the Railways was using three languages (in signages and announcements in trains), and that first priority should be given to Kannada in Namma Metro.

Stating that the use of three languages would not only benefit local passengers but also those from other states and countries, living in Bengaluru.

READ: ‘Ananth Kumar was lawyer, but I made him politician’

Cauvery & Bengaluru

Ananth Kumar who was the torchbearer for state issues related to land, language and water, was also instrumental in getting the Vajpayee government to clear the Cauvery stage IV project, helping bring Cauvery water to the parched parts of the state capital.

Ananth Kumar also strongly lobbied for Karnataka in the Cauvery and Krishna river rows, which was hailed by former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda.

Recalling how he had sat on a hunger strike when the Supreme Court ordered the formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), Gowda said that it was Kumar who convinced the Modi government to argue against the order, stating that the decision was detrimental to Karnataka.


Ananth Kumar passes away; funeral tomorrow at 1 pm

Ananth Kumar ignored symptoms, says friend and doctor

Ananth Kumar, a man who never saw electoral defeat

Ananth Kumar's demise leaves huge void in Karnataka BJP

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox