- Centre accorded in-principle clearance for expressway
- Asks State to handover land for laying the road • Under PPP, GMR Group will invest Rs 5,000 cr on 1st phase of airport
- It will be operational in 24 to 30 months
- Foundation stone for airport will be laid on May 3 Visakhapatnam: As the stage is set for laying the foundation stone for the greenfield Bhogapuram International Airport in Vizianagaram district, about 45 km from here, the Centre has also accorded in-principle clearance for taking up work for a six-lane expressway connecting the new airport and the City of Destiny.
GMR Group, which has bagged the project under PPP route, will invest Rs 5,000 crore for the first phase. Initially it will handle six million passengers per annum. It will virtually handle 40 million passengers once the airport is operational fully. Visakhapatnam International Airport, a civil enclave on the INS Dega airbase of the Indian Navy, is at present the largest airport in undivided Andhra Pradesh after the Shamshabad Airport. Once Bhogapuram Airport becomes operational, there is a talk that Visakhapatnam Airport will be closed for civilian aircraft. “We are confident that the Bhogapuram Airport will be operational in 24 to 30 months,” Industries Minister Gudivada Amarnath said recently after inspecting the project site. GMR Group operates world-class airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad.
During his recent visit to the city, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari assured the State Government that the Centre as per its ambitious plan for port and airport connectivity will sanction Rs 6,300 crore expressway to promote faster evacuation of cargo as well as movement of passenger vehicles to the airport and the two ports located in Visakhapatnam. He asked the State to expedite the process to handover the required land for taking up work in laying the road.
Official sources told Bizz Buzz that the road will have a length of 56 km with greenery all around with sidewalks and kiosks. The Centre wants the State to allot land to take up work on a multi-modal logistics park to enable Visakhapatnam to become a logistics hub with the location of a major port in the government sector and a private port at Gangavaram. The stone for the Mulapeta (Bhavanapadu) Port was laid some time ago.
At the Global Investors’ Summit, GMR Group Founder-Chairman G Mallikarjuna Rao said the airport will spur economic prosperity and realty in the region. He had said that initially they will invest Rs 5,000 crore. Andhra Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the airport on May 3. Earlier, during the TDP regime, then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had laid the foundation stone on February 14, 2014.