CM Vijayan slams Centre over 'stalled' development of airports in north Kerala

CM Vijayan slams Centre over 'stalled' development of airports in north Kerala

Kozhikode (Kerala), Nov 25 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the Centre on Saturday for the lack of development at the Kannur and Karipur airports in northern districts, alleging that their expansion has come to a 'standstill' due to the policies of the union government.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Nava Kerala Sadas programme, the state government's outreach programme here, he emphasised the people's demand for a comprehensive development of these airports, ensuring the availability of their full facilities.

Stating that Kerala is the land of expatriates, he said it is significant to provide them with facilities to connect with their homeland.

He pointed out that one of the major challenges faced by the expatriates is related to travel.

'We have been discussing the frequently increasing airfares and the lack of alternative travel options for them at various levels,' Vijayan said.

The development of Karipur and Kannur airports is crucial in addressing these concerns, he said.

'The development of Karipur airport here, which was the first airport to give wings to the Malabar (north Kerala) region, is at standstill now,' the chief minister said.

Vijayan noted that although the required land for runway development was handed over to the Airport Authority in October, there is a delay due to the extension of tender procedures.

'The state government has demanded to complete the tender procedures at the earliest and make the runway development a reality,' he said.

On Kannur Airport, the chief minister said though its construction was completed during the time of the previous LDF government and has all necessary facilities, the Centre is yet to allow the 'point of call' for the operation of foreign airlines there.

The chief minister also alleged that the union government was providing facilities to the private companies to get the control of airports and to fix the airfares as per their choice.

The development of Kannur Airport was blocked as part of this policy, he further charged. PTI LGK KH

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