G'barga Airport agreement to be signed on May 22

Newly-appointed consortium headed by ILFS to construct the airport

G'barga Airport agreement to be signed on May 22

An artists impression of the proposed Gulbarga airport

The newly appointed consortium of companies headed by ILFS Ltd, is scheduled to sign an agreement with the State government on May 22.

The apprehensions persisting over the realisation of air connectivity to one of the fast growing cities of the State have been laid to rest for the time being.

According to Deputy Commissioner R Vishal the airport at Srinivas Saradagi on Sedam Road here will be a reality within 24 months from the date of signing agreement. ``The Gulbarga Airport Developers Ltd has been handed over 695 acres of land and with the shifting of the lone Tanda all hurdles for the commencement of civil works have been cleared ’’ Vishal said.

Bidar airport

Once the airport is completed a large number of industries which are in the pipeline are expected to see the light of the day. The IAF airport at Bidar about 115 km from here cannot be used for general air traffic.

Though there have been suggestions about the IAF airport being opened for the general air traffic, the decision in this regard has been pending for long now.

Gulbarga Greenfield Airport project was sought to be projected as the brain child of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa who had laid the foundation stone amidst much fanfare to start civil works on June 24, 2008. Though the airport was planned to be completed in 24 months, that is by June 2010, after two years not a single stone has been moved in the sprawling 695 acre site.

Maytas link

The State government had bungled in finalising the agency for airport construction. The contract was awarded to the Maytas Infra, a subsidiary of the Satyam Computers, which ran in to trouble following the surfacing of the Rs 7,800 crore scam sending its Chairman
Ramalinga Raju behind the bars.

Following this the government cancelled the contract and for the reasons best known to it the cabinet again awarded the contract to the tainted  Maytas only to be withdrawn later.

The airport was planned to be developed by a consortium of Maytas Infra, NCC Infrastructure Holding Ltd; and Vienna International Airport at an estimated cost of Rs 110 cr.

The consortium had signed the Project Development Agreement with the State government in April 2008.

The Consortium was to design, build and operate the airport on BOT (build, operate and transfer) basis for a period of 30 years and extendible by another 30 years.

It was planned to be developed in two phases. In Phase- I facilities for landing of ATR-72 type aircrafts were to be created and in Phase-II facilities for A-320 type aircrafts were to be made available.

Five lakh passengers

With a 3,100 m runway length and 6000 sq m terminal building the airport would be capable of handling five lakh  passengers and 5,000 ton of cargo.

However nearly two years after laying foundation the things were back to square one. With the appointment of a new consortium everything needs to be started a fresh.
 If all goes well aircraft should land in Gulbarga Airport in June 2012.

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