The decades-long dream of the people and businessmen of this region was realised as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inaugurated Kalaburagi airport on Friday afternoon. The first flight was welcomed with a water salute.
Speaking after inaugurating the airport built at a cost of Rs 181 crore on 742 acres of land near Srinivas Saradagi near the city, Yediyurappa said the airport will give a new dimension to the comprehensive development of Kalyana Karnataka region.
Since it gives air connectivity to the northeastern part of the state, industrialists from the west will fly here to invest in this region.
“I am the happiest person to inaugurate this airport for which I had laid the foundation stone in 2008,” he said.
Funds will be earmarked to Kalaburagi and surrounding districts from the next Budget to give true meaning to Kalyana (welfare), he said.
The 3.175 km runway at Kalaburagi airport is the second-longest after the Kempegowda International Airport.
The chief minister said the district, which produces 30% of India’s requirement of tur has, drawn the world’s attention. The Union government will be requested to utilise this airport in future for goods transportation also, he added.
The region, which was known as Hyderabad Karnataka, will be developed on a priority after its rechristening as Kalyana Karnataka, he said.
Under the Kisan Samman scheme, the state, which was paying Rs 4,000 in addition to the Centre’s share, will release the second installment of Rs 2,000 to farmers in December, he said.
The inaugural function turned into a BJP event. Violating the protocol, the officials allowed state BJP in-charge P Muralidhar Rao who is neither an MP nor a state leader, to sit in the front row. His presence on the dais invited criticism from Congress leaders.
Local BJP leaders had earlier claimed that senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s name has been left out in the invitation as he is not an elected representative. Except for MLC Thippannappa Kamakanur, four other Congress MLAs of the district remained absent.