Another airport is slotted to come up in the port city of Kakinada which is already bursting at its seams. The proposal was mooted to cater to the needs of the people, considering the fast growth of the city on various fronts.
Kakinada MP and Union minister for human resource development MM Pallam Raju is trying hard to get an airport at Kakinada in addition to the one at Rajahmundry. Recently, a three-member team from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), inspected various areas around Kakinada, which included Rayavaram village in Pithapuram mandal, Nemam of Kakinada rural mandal, and Mulapeta of Uppadakothapalli mandal, for a suitable area for an airport.
The team also inspected the Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), which has thousands of acres of land. It is also learnt that if the GMR group ceded 5,000 acres, there is a possibility for the construction of an international airport.
The government has to acquire at least 500 acres either at Rayavaram, Nemam or Mulapeta areas. If it is in KSEZ, there won’t be any problem of land acquisition, as the entire land belongs to it. The revenue officials also opine that land acquisition these days is difficult. But the team which inspected the areas underlined the need for an airport at Kakinada.
If an airport comes up at Kakinada, it will be convenient for the people of Amalapuram areas and interior places of Konaseema in the district. Kakinada is well connected by rail, road and waterways. The city has two ports, Anchorage Port and Deep Water port.
In addition, gas and oil explorations are underway in the Krishna-Godavari basin, concentrated mainly at Kakinada. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, Oil India and Reliance Industries Limited are busy with gas and oil explorations. The Petro Corridor between Kakinada and Visakhapatnam is also expected soon with an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore.
At present, the officials of oil majors, businessmen, elected representatives of the twin Godavari districts board flights at Rajahmundry, which is about 70 km from Kakinada.
Meanwhile, the AAI is developing the Rajahmundry airport by expanding the runway for night landing and other facilities.