• Work on Bhogapuram airport will begin soon : Aviation Minister

    Visakhapatnam as a modern growing industrial city needs a new international airport and therefore the Centre has taken up the project at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district. Work on the project will begin once the land acquisition process is completed, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju, has said.

    He was interacting with members of the local branch of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Monday. He said, “The Collector of Vizianagaram district has told me that most of the lands have been acquired for the project,” he said. The project falls in Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency, represented by the minister himself.

    He said the Civil Aviation Ministry was spending more than Rs. 1,500 crore on improving the Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Tirupati airports in the state. “We are extending the runways at Gannavaram (Vijayawada) and at Madhurapudi (Rajahmundry) airports. We are also creating other facilities and also improving the Tirupati airport. Nightlanding facilities are being created at these airports to improve connectivity,” he said.

    Air cargo from Vizag: O. Naresh Kumar, the CEO of a local software company, and several others raised the issue of setting up an air cargo complex at the Visakhapatnam airport to meet the needs of the local industry. They wanted a specific assurance from the minister on the issue. The minister said there were some procedural problems, which were being sorted out. On the whole, he said, on the cargo front Indian airports were way behind and “except at Chennai airport, we are not handling much cargo. The Government and the industry and trade should work together on the issue. You should tell us what kind of policy intervention you require.”

    A representative from Brandix India Apparel Ltd sought a direct flight to Colombo from Visakhapatnam and the minister said he would look into the demand.

    Local member of Parliament, K. Haribabu, said 30 major projects were coming up in and around Visakhapatnam city, after the bifurcation of the State, tremendously increasing the importance of the city and correspondingly air connectivity was also being improved.

    G.S Shiv Kumar, the chairman of the CII (Andhra Pradesh), presided over the session. Calle Rosen Jersey

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