Govt to hold meeting to speed up Calicut airport expansion worktext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Tuesday said a high-level meeting would be convened on July 17 to discuss matters connected with the ongoing expansion and development work at the Kozhikode International Airport.
The matter was raised at the Assembly by the opposition which said the partial closure of the airport for the past one year, due to the work, was causing hardship to lakhs of passengers in north Kerala.
He said the meeting, to be chaired by him, would discuss various issues especially the matters related to the speeding up the land acquisition processes. Slow progress in the land acquisition process was one of the major road blocks for the completion of the ongoing expansion programme.
Vijayan expressed confidence that with the support of the local people and others concerned, the hurdles in this regard could be resolved.
"Though an order was issued for the acquisition of 137 acres of land necessary for the construction of the terminal, apron and other related infrastructure, no further progress had been made in this regard," Vijayan said while replying to a calling attention motion on the issue in the Assembly.
Similarly, the runway of the airport also has to be expanded along for the landing of jumbo aircraft, he said, adding, over 240 acres of additional land was needed for that.
The operation of the airport can be made full fledged only after materialising these physical infrastructure, he said.
"We have to speed up the land acquisition procedures in this regard. For that, a high level meeting comprising ministers, MLAs, MPs and other officials will be held on July 17," the Chief minister added.
The issue was taken up by N Samsudheen of IUML.
The Kozhikode airport was till recently among the busiest in the country.
But due to instability of its runway, authorities had partially closed it, resulting in drastic reduction of services by various airlines and cancellation of wide-bodied aircraft, he said.
This had caused hardship not only to the passengers from the districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad, but also adversely affecting the farmers and exporters from this region who send their products to the Middle East.