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Shivamogga airport plan fast-tracked, cost goes up 275%
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday ordered fast-tracking the construction of the Shivamogga airport, whose cost was revised from Rs 40 crore to Rs 150 crore at a meeting he chaired to review the project.
CM Yediyurappa has been bullish on the airport project given that Shivamogga is his home district.
It was decided in the meeting to exempt the project from the tender process under Section 4(g) of The Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act, according to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office. The airport work will be carried out by the Public Works Department in two phases based on detailed project reports prepared by the state-run engineering consultancy RITES.
At the review meeting, Shimoga MP BY Raghavendra pointed out that the project was languishing since 2009. 'It's been 10 years and we're still unable to launch the tender,' he lamented in the meeting.
About 662 acres of land was acquired for the project. The government inked an agreement with Shimoga Airport Developers Pvt Ltd, a joint venture firm that bagged the contract in December 2010, and work was to be completed in 24 months. Eventually, in 2015, the agreement was cancelled because work was not completed within the stipulated time.
At one point, Yediyurappa asked officials to ensure speedy completion of the project such that 'flight operations must start within six months.'
However, it was decided to resume construction of the airport compound wall by the end of this month and core infrastructure works should start by February 2020. To ensure full-fledged airport operations, the airport runway will be extended from the existing 1.2 km to 2.10 km, whose cost will be borne by the state government.
It was also decided in the meeting to develop Shivamogga's old penitentiary on the lines of the Freedom Park in Bengaluru at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore.