For providing regional air connectivity, Karnataka would build a greenfield airport at Vijayapura in the state’s northwest backward region, an official said on Friday.
“The new airport will be built at a cost of Rs 220 crore on Vijayapura’s outskirts in northwest Karnataka for air connectivity and boosting economic activity in the state’s backward region,” the official said a day after the cabinet gave its nod.
Vijayapura, formerly known as Bijapur, is 540km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state, and was once a part of the Bombay Province before the re-organisation of states on linguistic basis in 1956.
“The state public works department (PWD) will construct the airport between Buranpur and Madhubhavi villages in 727 acres of land, the state government acquired in 2010 but the project work did not take-off due to delays, leading to cancellation of the contract with Marg Ltd, a Chennai-based construction and infrastructure development firm,” the official recalled.
When completed over the next 18-24 months, the Vijayapura airport will be the 9th in the state to operate on feeder routes under the regional Udan regional connectivity scheme of the central government.
“Though Vijayapura is connected with road and rail network, air connectivity will reduce travel time to cities like Bengaluru and Mangaluru in the state and from where passengers take flights to overseas destinations,” said the official.
Other regional airports in operation across the state are at Mysuru, Hubballi, Belagavi, Bidar and Kalaburagi, while a new airport is under construction at Shivamogga in Malnad region of central Karnataka.
“Civil works such as ground levelling and construction of runway, taxiway, aprons and passenger terminal will commence soon after the state government releases Rs 95 crore for the first year of the project work,” asserted the official.
As part of the Deccan Plateau in the southern peninsula, Vijayapura is a heritage city, dating back to the Kalyani Chalukyas reign in the 10-11th centuries and was the capital of the Adil Shahi kingdom after its Bahmani Sultanate conquered it from the Yadavas.
“Air connectivity will also promote tourism in the region, which boasts of monuments, forts, tombs, mosques, temples and sufi shrines. Bijapur fort, Bara Kaman, Jama Masjid and Gol Gumbaz are popular tourist spots,” added the official.
The Adil Shahi dynasty promoted building 50 mosques, 20 tombs and scores of palaces and Hindu temples such as Gajanan, Shivagiri and Siddeshwar temples, Ibrahim Roza, Taj Bawdi, Malik-e-Maidan, Methar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Jala Manzil and Upli Burj.