Vizianagaram: With Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy having proposed Vizag city as the Executive Capital of Andhra Pradesh, decks seem to be cleared for the green-field international Airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district, about 45 km from the existing international airport in Vizag city.
The green-field Bhogapuram International Airport is picking up pace with officials of Revenue Department directing officials to expedite the land acquisition process for the airport project. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation (APADC) is waiting for the nod for the Bhogapuram Airport project. It may be recalled that Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said in Rajya Sabha that the Centre would facilitate Bhogapuram when it is ready.
Vizianagaram Joint Collector G Ch Kishore Kumar said that the airport requires 2,624 acres of land and so far around 90 per cent of the required land acquisition has been completed. The remaining 260 acres will have to be acquired from farmers.
Mr Kishore Kumar said that families in villages, including Rellipeta, Maradapalem, Mudasarlapeta under Bhogapuram Mandal have to be shifted to Polipalle and Gudepuvalasa for the project.
If the Executive Capital is set up in and around Bheemili, Vizag city will move beyond Madhurawada towards Vizianagaram. If the capital city theory becomes reality, then Bhogapuram airport will be a certainty. This will spur the growth of both Vizag and Vizianagaram, said P Koteswara Rao of CREDAI, Vizag Chapter.
Members of CREDAI opine that Vizag city and Vizianagaram town can emerge as twin cities if the Executive Capital comes true.
The existing airport in Vizag city, which was under the control of Navy and the civil flights operations, was managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). If Bhogapuram airport becomes operational, AAI would shut down the operations at Vizag airport as it makes no sense to have two international airports less than 100 km from each other. In such a scenario, the Indian Navy will have to operate the entire Vizag airport only for defence purposes.
Sources said that the government is in favour of GMR Group to take up the Bhogapuram airport project as GMR Group had submitted the highest bid in terms of revenue.
The proposed runway length: 3,800 meters
The Distance between Vizag and Bhogapuram: 45 Km
Bhogapuarm Project got environmental clearance in April 2017
Land acquired for the project for far: 2,600 acres
Three companies GMR Group, GVK Group and a consortium in which YES Bank, a private bank, has stakes
GMR Group may take up the Bhogapuram airport project