Work on five minor airports in Karnataka stalled

Work on five minor airports in Karnataka stalled

Work on five minor airports in Karnataka stalled

Work on five minor airports in Karnataka has been grounded owing to several reasons including land acquisition dispute, breach of agreements and withdrawal of promoters from projects due to lack of financial viability.

The five airports-- Gulbarga, Bellary, Bijapur, Hassan and Shimoga –- were proposed by the previous BJP government with an intention of providing air connectivity to tier II cities and thereby ensuring fuel economic growth in those cities. All these projects were proposed on public private partnership (PPP) model.

Minister for Infrastructure, Santhosh Lad told reporters here today that developers have withdrawn from five projects on account of economic slowdown, financial inviability, land acquisition disputes and breach of agreements signed with the government and internal differences among project developers.

Lad said work on Gulbarga and Shimoga projects currently stand grounded. All construction activity has stopped, with the airports' two main joint venture partners fighting among themselves. The government has initiated the process of terminating the Gulbarga project for which 567 acres had been acquired.

He said work on Hassan and Bijapur airports has hit a roadblock with the private agency which has got the contract to implement it demanding additional land, which according to government officials, amounts to breach of contract.

Lad said the airport project in Bellary has not taken off due to land acquisition dispute with some farmers approaching the court. Moreover, Airport Authority of India too had declared that the project was inviable, he said.

All the five projects have not been shelved, and the government would explore opportunities to develop them by focusing the stability of the government as well availability of land to develop these projects, he said.