The Karnataka government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with infrastructure development company, Marg, for developing a green field airport at Bijapur, the centre of horticulture and a historic city of Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is home for a number of monuments and temples.
Marg will invest Rs 200 crore on the project for which the government has agreed to provide 728 acres of land, state tourism and infrastructure minister G Janardhana Reddy said after signing of the MoU. The airport will initially cater to smaller aircraft like ATR 72 or ATR 42, he said.
He said the government plans to develop 10 airports, 13 airstrips and 28 heliports. The government has also identified 63,000 km of road for development and at least 12,000 km would be developed with private participation, he said.
Marg CMD G R K Reddy, who signed the MoU on behalf of his company, said the project would be completed in 24 months. Under Secretary of Karnataka Infrastructure Development Department, Manjula Geetha signed the MoU on behalf of the state government.
Providing airlink would help boost tourism and industrial development in this horticultural hub famous for grapes and pomegranates. Steel giant ArcelorMittal has agreed to set up a steel plant in Bijapur or nearby Bagalkot with Rs 30,000 crore investment. Bijapur, where the famous Gol Gumbaz, an architectural marvel is located, attracts tourists, including foreigners.
The government has already initiated steps to develop another greenfield airport at Shimoga and upgraded Mysore airport. Steps are also on to expand Hubli and Belgaum airports in north Karnataka. The state government is also in talks with the Indian Air Force to give permission to use airport at Bidar. Presently, other than Bangalore and Mangalore international airports, the state has third operational airport at Hubli.