Marg Ltd, the Chennai-based infrastructure developer, has been awarded the contract to develop a greenfield airport in Bellary at a cost of Rs 230 crore on a build, operate and transfer basis. Initially, the airport will be suitable for ATR aircraft and will be expanded later to cater to Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
The Infrastructure Development Department, Government of Karnataka, today signed a project development agreement (PDA) with the company. Under the agreement, Marg will operate and maintain the airport for 30 years. The airport will be built over a period of 24 months for which the groundbreaking ceremony will be held on August 20, G R K Reddy, chairman and managing director, Marg Ltd, said.
Marg has floated a special purpose vehicle, christened Marg Sri Krishnadevaraya Airport Ltd, to execute the project. The state government has already acquired 900 acres at Sanganakal village, about 12 km from Bellary city. The project will be executed with the debt-equity ratio of 65:35 per cent. The company is in talks with domestic financial institutions to raise the debt in a phased manner, Reddy told reporters.
Marg will plan and undertake the development of facilities, amenities and other infrastructure like aviation academy, exhibition and convention centre, business parks, shopping mall, flying club, theme or entertainment park among others.
The terminal building at the airport will be built to cater to 100 passengers and there will be facility for parking 6-8 aircraft.
In recent months, Bellary has emerged as the second-fastest growing city in the state. Recently, the state government signed MoUs for setting up several steel mills involving an investment of Rs 2.56 lakh crore. Most of this investment is expected to be in and around Bellary. Bellary-Toranagallu-Hospet belt is presently the largest exporter of galvanised steel.
Bellary is also home to the World Heritage Site at Hampi which attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. The state government is also spending over Rs 100 crore to develop tourism infrastructure at Hampi, said G Janardhan Reddy, minister for tourism and infrastructure, who was present at the PDA signing ceremony.