There is a fundamental problem with Andhra attitude. Andhrites are too quick to criticize their governments for lack of progress but when progress happens, they are too reluctant to even acknowledge it. There is also another problem with Andhrites. They seem to be convinced that progress is much better in other states and by default Andhra must be a laggard. They are quick to give examples of Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, Maha, Gujarat or cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai or Delhi without really knowing what happens there.
I will take Bhogapuram airport as an example. Everyone knows that this airport near Vizag is planned to be built on par or better than the Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. The size is similar spread over 5000 acres of land as any effective airport needs that much of space to account for future growth.
Let us now compare Bhogapuram airport progress with other new airports of India, both existing as well as planned ones.
Bhogapuram airport ( Targeting under 4 years for concept to completion)
- May 2015 – A special purpose vehicle, the Bhogapuram International Airport Company Limited (BIACL), totally owned by the state government formed to speed up the airport project.
- Technical approval of Airports authority obtained in June 2015
- The Government has acquired more than 2,000 acres for the project by February 2016.
- The Andhra Pradesh Finance department, HUDCO and the Bhogapuram International Airport Company Ltd., entered into a formal agreement on 2nd June 2016 for Rs.650-crore loan to be extended by HUDCO.
- Centre clears the airport proposal in September 2016.
- Technical bids from developers are expected to be opened in a month or two and as of now, eight firms have expressed interest in participating in the tender process for construction including all leading players like GMR, GVK, Airports Authority of India, Tata Group and Essel Infrastructure among others.
- Land acquisition to be complete by end 2016 and the project may begin construction by early 2017.
- Expected date of operation is late 2019 or early 2020.
Hyderabad Airport ( 8 years for completion, the first 3.5 years under Chandrababu)
- Nov 2008 – State govt and AAI sign an MOU
- October 2002 – GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) formed
- GHIAL signs all relevant agreements between Sept 2003 and December 2004
- March 2005 – Construction starts
- March 2008 – Airport begins operations exactly 3 years after construction starts but it is eight long years from concept to operations.
Bangalore airport ( 14 long years to completion )
- Centre approves Bangalore’s Devanahalli airport in 1994
- Dec 1995 – Tata and Singapore airport sign MOU but pull out 3 years later without laying a brick.
- BIAL, a special purpose vehicle formed in 2001.
- Construction expected to begin in 2002 but actually starts in July 2005.
- Airport opens in May 2008, 3 years from construction begin date but 14 years from concept to operations. Just too long a time !!
Navi Mumbai airport ( Only talk no work for the last 20 years )
- This story will be an eye opener for anyone who thinks that Maharashtra governments must be very efficient.
- First planned in 1997 as the existing Mumbai airport is too cramped and can not be efficient in future
- Favourable feasibility report submitted in 2001.
- Centre approves the project in 2007.
- All clearances including the environmental clearance received in 2008.
- But as of today even the bidding process not completed to shortlist the developer which reflects on how things happen in other states which Andhrites consider as very developed.
Noida airport, NCR ( 13 years on but still no progress)
- First planned in late 90s as the existing Delhi airport is too cramped and can not be efficient in future
- Feasibility report obtained in 2003
- Story similar to Navi Mumbai airport. No progress till date. And think of it, it is the national capital region. Shame..Shame !!
Chennai Airport ( Only plans, Amma too busy to do anything )
- Planned near Sriperambadur in early 2000s as the existing Chennai airport is too cramped and can not be efficient in future.
- Airports authority gives approval in 2012.
- The state government is too busy to do anything on the same even as the existing Chennai airport increasingly looks like a mofussil bus stand. All Tamil Nadu fans in Andhra… Any response for this ??
The above comparison is provided to make Andhra citizens realise and understand that our state government is far quicker in infrastructure creation compared to any other state. So next time, don’t be a cry baby saying our government is doing nothing.
Imagine what would you do if you were living in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai !!