Mangaluru : Asserting that the introduction of wide-bodied aircraft to the Mangalore International Airport (MIA) will prove beneficial in the long run, especially in area of cargo transport, Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo has opined that the runway must be extended by 180 metres.
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday in the city, Lobo said that wide-bodied aircraft will certainly take the cargo transport at the MIA to another level over a period of time.
He said that the issue had been discussed with incumbent Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation of India G M Siddeshwara for which the latter had replied that the project will cost about Rs 1,100 crore and that the government cannot afford it as of now. “Hence, we are working out on a PPP (public private partnership) model as already done in Cochin,” Lobo said that during his recent visit to Kuwait, he had raised the issue with the NRIs and a businessman has spontaneously agreed to invest about Rs 50 crore for the project.
“This is a clear indication that the entrepreneurs are willing to invest in such a project. A proposal in this regard will be placed before Siddaramaiah during a meet scheduled to be held on November 13. I will intimate Minister for Infrastructure Roshan Baig on the issue in case if I am unable to attend the meeting,” he added.
Embankments to tackle floods
With a view of ensuring safety during floods caused due to overflowing of Nethravati and Phalguni rivers here, Lobo informed that Nabard funded project of construction of embankments in and around Mangalore have been undertaken at a sum of Rs 3.40 crore by the Minor Irrigation Department.
A proposal to grant another Rs eight crore towards the project has been kept before the government, he said.
Construction of retaining walls across the storm water drains from Kuntalpaady in Padavu village to Balyakodi and Mugurukodi to Achchukodi in the same village, near Kallurti Daivasthana in Kudupu, pumphouse in Maroli to Poyya Kodi and renovation of the retaining wall at Naguri near Valencia in Kankanady among others have been taken up.
“The project is expected to be completed within three months,” he said.
Revealing his plans to undertake a special Flood Management Project for Nethravati river, he said the project may require about Rs 150 crore. A proposal in this regard has been submitted to the state government, which will be forwarded to the union government if passed by the state. If both the governments give a nod for the project, it will be funded equally by both the governments.
Allow NRI students to appear for CET
Lobo said that the NRI students in the state were not allowed to appear for CET exams as per the state education rules. He said that the state must adopt the Kerala, Maharashtra and Goa model in this regard which allows NRI students to write the competitive exam.