Elaborate arrangements for Kannur Airport project launch

Express News Service
Kannur, December 15

WAITING in the wings for more than a decade, Kannur is all set to pave the way for its maiden flight which is expected to happen in a couple of years.
Elaborate arrangements are being made to lay the foundation stone for the Kannur Airport Project which is going to be a public-private venture on the model of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) Nedumbassery. A company synonymous with the Nedumbassery Airport, KIAL (Kannur International Airport Limited) has already been formed by the government, though the nitty-gritty of the whole project is yet to be made transparent.
The first phase of the launch of the project, acquisition of land, was a smooth affair, going by the claims made by the authorities. Acquisition of 1,876 acres of land for the project has already been completed. Acquisition of another 783 acres needed for the airport is progressing. An aggregate amount of `196 crore was spent for buying the land, according to District Collector V K Balakrishnan.
The authorities here are busy making all arrangements to turn the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Kannur Airport a grand gala. A massive shamiana has already been built at the project site on the Mattannur-Anjarakkandy road. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel is scheduled to fly down by a special helicopter at  Mattanur where a helipad has already been constructed. The mantle of laying the foundation stone for the most prestigious project in Malabar  has fallen on Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. VS will perform his job at 11 am on Friday, the auspicious time fixed for the commencement of the function. Praful Patel will preside over the function.
The array of VIPs scheduled to be on the podium  when the State Chief Minister lays the foundation stone is virtually a 'who-is-who' of Kerala politics. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mullappally Ramachandran, will inaugurate the construction of the compound wall of the airport area. Union Minister of State for Railways, E Ahmed, will release a logo of the airport. State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac will hand over the funds for rehabilitation of those displaced for the project. Revenue Minister K P Rajendran will distribute the title deeds to land owners. The entire State Cabinet will be in attendance at the function. Opposition Leader Ommen Chandy has been assigned the job of launching the Green Belt Project coming up side by side with the airport project.
All MPs, MLAs and representatives of the people are invited guests to the function. Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements are being made by the authorities for the foundation stone laying ceremony.


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