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14 Airports For 13 Districts, Raju Garu?

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister met up with Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and sought the Centre’s help in upgrading three existing airports in Vijayawada, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam along with developing 11 new airports in all of AP. At a meeting held in Lake View Guest House in Hyderabad, Chandra Babu Naidu and Ashok Gajapati Raju discussed various issues regarding acquisition of land, investments and revenue. This in short would mean an airport each for each of the 13 districts. While many are skeptical about the need for so many airports, TDP members are insisting that under the regime of hi-tech Babu, everything is possible. In fact, union minister Ashok Gajapati Raju has been constantly making statements about the proposed airports in AP. He has promised that the Centre would provide all necessary aid for the upgrading the existing three airports in AP. Since Chandra Babu plans to develop Andhra Pradesh as a maritime and air hub, this comes as no surprise. But there is one huge glitch here. It’s almost been two months since the state has come into existence. Still, there is no talk of how the government plans to develop the new capital city. Similarly, though a lot has been written about expanding the Vijayawada airport, no work has begun yet. Same is the case with Tirupati and Vizag airports. So it is rather amusing to hear the Aviation minister talk about developing new airports instead of focusing on procuring funds from the Centre to develop the existing three airports. Meanwhile, the government officials have started acquiring land for the proposed airports. And ever since the word has been out, the realty has been in full swing to make the most of the opportunity. Finally, that appears to be the main reason behind making such announcements – to pamper and aid the growth of land/ realty mafia. Isn’t that the hidden agenda, Mr Minister? 

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